The National Rifle Association released an ad this week that accuses President Barack Obama of hypocrisy for opposing the NRA’s calls for armed guards in schools whilst at the same time sending his daughters to a school that employs gun-carrying security.
It’s a very clever piece of political strategy and a highly effective TV spot that seeks to re-frame the current public debate on gun-control.
The main thrust of the discussion on the issue thus far has been roughly “should the USA amend its current gun-control legislation?”.
By highlighting the fact that Obama’s children attend Sidwell Friends School, a selective Quaker private school, which pays for armed security to protects its pupils, the NRA have changed the frame of reference for the discussion to “is Obama a hypocrite? Why do his children get armed protection and mine don’t?”
If the NRA can change the terms of the narrative to being about whether or not schools should have armed guards, it will have succeeded.
By diversifying the discussion away from the black and white issue of ‘should the USA implement more restrictive legislation around gun control’ the NRA are successfully helping the media and the electorate forget about what started the whole debate: the brutal and inhumane killings that took place in Connecticut last month.