After endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney last week, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is out with an anti-Obama television ad, the latest signal that the powerful pro-gun organization is preparing to commit significant resources in the effort to help defeat the president's re-election this fall.
The ad, which does not mention Romney by name, attacks unnamed, presumably Democratic, parties for "chipping away at" rights and freedoms - including Second Amendment rights.
"Mountains of debt. Threats to our sovereignty. Chipping away at your rights. Chipping away at your freedom," a narrator in the ad says. "And now they're attacking your Second Amendment rights."
"But you can stop them," the ad says, as "Stop Obama" text flashes across the screen. "Right now. Defend freedom. Defeat Obama."
According to an NRA spokesperson, the ad will air through Election Day in Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin. The buy for this week was $1.5 million.
The NRA's Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox formally endorsed Romney for president last week at a campaign stop in Fishersville, Va., nearly six months after Romney spoke at the NRA in an appeal for the powerful lobby's support.
Romney has in the past backed an assault weapons ban and a waiting period to buy firearms, but he has signaled more recently that he would not support any new gun laws.
Gun control advocates argue that, contrary to what the NRA suggests in its ad, Mr. Obama has not done enough to promote gun control. In 2010, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave the president a failing grade for "continuing concessions to the 'guns anywhere' mentality of the gun lobby and lack of leadership for common-sense gun laws."
Among the laws Mr. Obama has signed while president is one that allows people to carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked luggage on Amtrak trains. The Brady campaign also complained in 2010 that Mr. Obama "muzzled Cabinet members who expressed any support for stronger gun laws and failed to appoint permanent leadership at the agency that polices the gun industry," and that "this White House even voiced no objection to people carrying guns near Presidential events."