Susan Eisenhower Takes Aim at the NRA

Susan Eisenhower recently took umbrage at the NRA's recent ad pointing out the hypocrisy of Obama having armed guards protecting his family while pushing gun control on America.

Ms. Eisenhower points out correctly that President Obama's family requires Secret Service protection due to the high profile of his office. In today's world, there is no shortage of terrorists, lunatics, fanatics, and just plain aggrieved who would relish the opportunity to visit evil upon the leader of the free world in pursuit of their twisted priorities. She also points out that, having been the recipient of Secret Service protection as a child, she brings a unique perspective to this debate. Ms. Eisenhower criticizes the NRA ad as disgusting because it singles out the president's family when their high profile makes them an exception.

I disagree that the NRA ad in question is over the top or disgusting. Yes, as a high profile leader, President Obama and his family do face a greater threat than the ordinary American and thus Secret Service protection is warranted. Neither the NRA ad nor I dispute this requirement. However, they face threats which are just as undefined to them as to any other American seeking to protect his home and family. The only difference is that the threat to them is recognized and proper steps are taken to protect them. All we Americans are asking is the right to recognize that we should be allowed to protect ourselves from existing threats.

The NRA ad points out that the president's family is protected from vague and murky threats as a matter of prudent policy. Americans also face vague and murky threats from thieves, carjackers, serial killers, robbers, and other assorted criminals in the course of their daily lives. Should they not also be allowed to recognize these threats and take precautions to defend themselves? This is the point of the NRA spot. It neither exacerbates the danger faced by the president's family, nor is it an unfair personal attack. The president is a public figure and this is a public policy debate.

Ms. Eisenhower makes an emotional appeal in her description of growing up with Secret Service protection and how it tends to scar one for life. I suggest she speak with the victims of violent crimes who live with debilitating fears stemming from their encounters with criminals before she claims emotional scarring from having had protection.

She further decries the need for children to experience an environment of armed guards in their schools. I agree that this is deplorable, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand and is merely an emotional appeal offered to deflect attention away from the debate. The NRA is not forcing armed guards on schools. It is the criminally insane who are forcing us to guard our schools. Their murderous rampages are forcing the need to protect what we've come to realize are targets of evil opportunity instead of merely sanctuaries of learning.

No, the NRA spot is not disgusting, nor is it outside the realm of decency. It points out that the president, while pushing for gun control that would deny Americans the right to arm themselves for personal protection, enjoys personal protection from guards armed with substantially more firepower than is available to the public. It does not question the need for this protection, but merely asks that we be allowed to protect ourselves.

Tom Roberson is an occasional American Thinker contributor and independent conservative blogging at with his concerns. He'd love to hear from you.