A group affiliated with the National Rifle Association is launching a series of ads in California aimed at women and members of the transgender community. The 30-second spots feature lurid footage of a woman and a trans woman being attacked and attempting to defend themselves with guns.
Time magazine reported that the first ad, titled, Take Away Our Rights, Take Away Our Life launched on Monday. The campaign is aimed at blocking a ballot initiative by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) that would require background checks for purchases of ammunition, among other measures.
“Gavin Newsom’s dangerous ballot measure threatens to criminalize law-abiding Californians without taking one weapon out of the hands of criminals and terrorists. Thousands of sheriffs, officers and prosecutors — our frontline law enforcement officials — are opposed to Newsom’s proposal,” says the YouTube site for the ad.
In the murkily-shot black and white ad, a woman walks through a parking deck and is set upon by an attacker. In the struggle, the woman pulls a gun from her bag and aims it at the man, a dark figure whose face is never shown.
She pulls the trigger, the gun clicks and the scene goes dark, then all-caps titles appear, saying, “TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS, TAKE AWAY OUR LIFE.”
The ads are sponsored by pro-gun group the Coalition for Civil Liberties, which will release a second “nearly identical” ad on Wednesday, said Time, “except the character in the spot will transgender, and that ad will be targeted to areas with large concentrations of LGBT Californians.”
The campaign is the brainchild of openly gay GOP operative Richard Grenell who was briefly floated as a campaign spokesperson for Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid in 2012. Outrage from anti-LGBT groups drove the campaign to drop Grenell within a week of the announcement.
“Because Gavin’s latest proposal goes too far and tramples on personal freedoms, he has opened up a real opportunity for those of us who believe in more civil liberties,” Grenell said to Time. “Gavin is losing the traditional Democrat coalitions like women, the working class and the LGBT community who are challenging the progressive idea that the government should be the center of our lives.”
“do you think callista’s hair snaps on?” he tweeted in 2012.
“does @benlabolt shave his eyebrows?” he asked of Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt, “or wax them? or pluck them? those cannot be natural”
“#FreeContraception is really Obama’s population control strategy Obama: No Condom Left Behind,” read another message.
On another occasion, he wrote, “Hillary is starting to look liek [sic] Madeline Albright.”
Watch the first ad, aimed at women, embedded below: