Dickerson: NRA ad "about hypocrisy, not safety"

(CBS News) President Obama will unveil a sweeping effort to target gun violence Wednesday, introducing a three-part plan focusing on gun sales, education, and mental health.

The recommendations will include universal background checks for gun-purchasers, a tougher assault weapons ban than the one that expired in 2004, a ban on ammunition clips in excess of 10 bullets, and a new, tougher federal gun-trafficking statute.

The president will also issue an executive order dealing with research into gun violence, expand anti-bullying efforts in schools, and he will use his health care reform law to train more mental health counselors.

At a news conference on Monday, Mr. Obama said that he does not "worry about the politics," choosing instead to "focus on what makes sense, what works."

But the National Rifle Association, which opposes nearly all of the president's gun violence agenda, might disagree.

The association unveiled an internet ad yesterday accusing the president of being an "elitist hypocrite" for using secret service protection for his daughters in school while remaining skeptical of the NRA's proposal to station armed guards in schools around the country.

The ad, described by CBS News political director John Dickerson as a "very incendiary message," tries to "expand charges against the president -- it's not just about guns, it's going into people who have very negative views about the president," pushing emotional buttons unrelated to gun violence.

"The NRA is making this about hypocrisy, not safety," Dickerson said.

Perhaps the most controversial of the president's proposals is the renewal and strengthening of the assault weapons ban. Several key congressional players have signaled that the ban will have a tough time moving through Congress, but the administration "will be aggressive" in trying to push it through, said Dickerson, noting that White House aides called reporters to reiterate the president's commitment to the assault weapons ban.

It may also be a bargaining chip for the administration, according to Dickerson. If the administration pushes for the ban but jettisons it from the final package to attract support, potentially vulnerable lawmakers will be able to point out that they forced the administration to scale back its ambition.

For now, however, the administration is pressing on, full-speed ahead. Obama will announce his administration's recommendations today surrounded by children, a sure sign, according to Dickerson, that "the White House wants to make this a fight about children, not about taking away gun rights."

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