The National Rifle Association (NRA) is seizing upon President Barack Obama’s comments about wanting to reintroduce the so-called “assault weapons ban” during last Tuesday’s town hall to mobilize voters in some of the nation’s most important swing states.
According to the Star-Telegram, the NRA Political Victory Fund has deployed 25 paid organizers to 13 states including battleground states like Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia and Nevada.
Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s director of public affairs, told the paper Obama “gave law-abiding hunters,gun owners a preview of what to expect in a second Obama administration.”
“He went straight out and supported a gun ban,” he said.
During the debate, Obama said as part of the broader conversation about reducing gun violence, it must include “seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”
After the tragic Aurora theatre murders, liberals tried to pressure Obama into publicly proclaiming supporting an assault weapons ban and more strict gun-control measures. But Obama demurred because gun issues are important to voters in the battleground states and did not want to jeopardize his chances of getting reelected.
In 2000, for instance, Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee largely because voters disapproved of his pro-gun control stances. Had Gore won Tennessee, he would have won the presidency over George W. Bush.
Recent polling suggests Obama or Romney will win battleground states like Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado by razor-thin margins, and Obama’s pro-gun control stances may tip some of those states in Romney’s favor.