NRA Taking Heat for ‘repugnant, Cowardly' Ad

(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) - President Barack Obama calls it "difficult." The NRA calls it the "fight of the century."

And now, the White House is planning a campaign-style tour to drum up public support for the President's gun control efforts, including a ban on assault weapons.

The Associated Press reports 84-percent of Americans want tougher background checks. That's part of what President Obama's pitching, as he takes on the NRA.

Thursday morning, Connecticut residents will see this op-ed from the President in their local newspaper, pitching his $500 million dollar plan to curb gun violence; 23 executive orders aimed at research; mental health; new data for background checks; and 1,000 new school police officers and counselors.

"To make a real and lasting difference, Congress too must act," the President said.

An assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines; it's unclear if either can pass or how they'd affect gun sales:

"It depends on what they ban, how extensive it is and how quickly the manufacturers can come up with new things to sell," says gun shop owner Scott Daugherty.

Even in Newtown, some are skeptical:

"Please don't tell me in my home I can't choose to have an ak-47, a bushmaster, whatever it is I think is necessary to defend myself, my family and my home," says Mark Hill.

But on Capitol Hill, a victim's mother is urging lawmakers to avoid politics:

"Shore up your resolve, and keep working - to protect your staffers - our children - our nation. We need you to not give up," said Emily Nottingham, mother of a Tucson, Ariz. shooting victim.

The NRA is taking heat for a new ad criticizing the President for opposing armed security in schools:

"Are the President's kids more important than yours?"

"Nobody was naming his children. Nobody was doing that," said NRA President David Keene.

The White House called the ad repugnant and cowardly.

Back on Capitol Hill, Senate democratic leader Harry Reid says they'll likely take up gun control early this year.

The bans could be tough to pass. What about universal background checks?

Democrats are hoping to build a consensus on that. There's widespread public support. The Brady campaign reports 40-percent of gun sales are done with no background check - online, in private sales and at gun shows.

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