According to The Daily Beast
, Christie was addressing a crowd at the St. Mary of the Pines parish center in Manahawkin, N.J., on Wednesday, where he met with Hurricane Sandy victims.
He was responding to a question from Patricia Jones, an elderly Manahawkin resident, who raised a question about "weapons of mass destruction," in reference to semiautomatic weapons.
While addressing Jones's question, Christie commented on the NRA's "Stand and Fight" ad, saying, "I think any of us who are public figures, you see that kind of ad and you cringe."
The New Jersey governor, widely considered a 2016 presidential contender, said: “I’m a father who is a public figure, who has four children and my children had no choice realistically in what I decided to do with my career and what effect that has had on their lives."
The Huffington Post
reports he added: "Get to the real issues --- don't be dragging people's children into this. It's wrong and I think it demeans them and it makes them less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate."
According to the Daily Beast
, Christie said the debate should not be limited to gun control but should be about violence control. He said: “If all we do is talk about gun control, then we’re missing the point. What I’d like to have a real conversation about, and I intend to start very, very soon, is not just about gun control. That’s part of it. But it’s also about violence control.”
Christie advocated for a broader campaign that embraces issues of video game violence, drugs and mental health care. He warned conservtives not to follow the NRA's lead becasue the majority of Americans are not as extreme in their pro-gun views as the NRA. The Daily Beast
notes: "We’ll see soon enough how Christie’s new campaign pans out. As a practical matter, regulating which games people play, which drugs they ingest, and which mental-health tests they submit to may be even harder than regulating the size of the magazines in their Glocks."
reports Christie was also asked if he was concerned about incurring NRA's displeasure over his statements. He responded: "I’m not worried about anybody on any side of this argument. I’m not worried about the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence either. I’m willing to listen to all of them. None of them have all the answers, even if they think they do. I’m fine, I’ll be OK, I’m a big boy."
reports that the White House press secretary Jay Carney, reacted to the NRA ad. He said: "Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight. But to go so far as to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, defended the ad on NBC's Today show. He said it wasn't about Obama's daughters. "What it is about is how to keep children safe," he said.
The NRA ad released on Tuesday accused Obama of being an "elitist hypocrite," because he provides armed protection for his children but insists that the nation's schools remain "gun-free zones."
The ad begins with a shot of a school, the American flag and a voice-over, saying "Are the president's kids more important than yours?"
The narrator continues: "Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools?"
The ad then shows images featuring President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Dianne Feinstein, while the narrator says: "Mr Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. But he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security."
It ends with the argument that the "elitist hypocrites" (aka Obama, Biden, Bloomberg and Feinstein) are providing "protection for their kids, but gun-free zones for ours."
The Republican governor praised Obama's handling of the Hurricane Sandy disaster in October. Digital Journal
reported that Christie's praise of Obama, just before the presidential election, raised concern in Republican and Romney campaign circles.