The National Rifle Association is aiming its latest ad at minorities, and African-Americans in particular, by featuring YouTube sensation and gun advocate Colion Noir.
The self-described “urban gun enthusiast” talks for just under 90 seconds, encouraging Americans to arm themselves for protection.
“The only person responsible for your safety is you,” Noir says. “Cops can’t always be there. Obama definitely can’t be there.”
Referencing history, the new NRA contributor tells listeners they can’t depend on the government to protect them.
“No one wants to fight for their protection, they want the government to do it,” Noir opens the the video. “The same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs, and wouldn’t allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn’t own guns when bumbling fools with sheets on their heads were riding around burning crosses on our lawns and murdering us.”
“This isn’t a black or white, Democratic or Republican issue,” Noir states in the video. “This is common sense. This is self-preservation. It’s about natural rights.”
“I think it’s an insult to the American people’s intelligence for them to continue to do this,” Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) said on MSNBC in response to the new NRA ad.
“We have to hear from more than just the gun lobby and Republicans and Democrats,” Rangel added. “We have to hear from the American people, and the silence is really what allows lobbyists to do what they have been doing over the years.”
Colion Noir’s video is yet another attempt by the NRA and their allies to connect the debate over gun safety to the civil rights movement. Ted Nugent compared gun owners to Rosa Parks, former NRA president Marion Hammer likened a proposal banning assault weapons to racial discrimination, and now Noir is bringing up the government that “hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs” in a video decrying stronger gun laws. The NRA may have hired someone new to deliver the message but I’m guessing it still won’t sit well with civil rights leaders, who have previously called these comparisons “offensive.”
The ad featuring Noir was released days before a bipartisan group of senators reached a deal on a gun trafficking bill, named after Chicago gun violence victim Hadiya Pendelton.
This would be the first form of legislation to define gun trafficking and straw purchasing, when a person who can legally buy a gun transfers the gun to someone who can not legally own a gun.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the trafficking bill on Thursday.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns declined to comment on the new NRA ad.
We reached out the NRA for comment on Noir’s new position but have not received a response.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.