CBS had just about enough of controversy in 2010, when it ran ads from religious organization Focus On The Family featuring quarterback Tim Tebow and a link to a pro-life message on the organization's website.
Smith & Wesson
' Freedom Group,
and other gun makers haven't been particularly active on Super Bowl Sunday in the past and likely didn't get an engraved invitation from CBS this year. Like liquor, beer and adult entertainment, those companies' products and the right to use them are protected under the constitution. Like those products, however, they have plenty of detractors who wouldn't mind seeing some increased regulation of their industry.
The big difference is that, in light of grave recent events, their industry is under heavy federal scrutiny right now and is one of those hot-button topics you just can't seem to discuss in polite company anymore. There's some pretty strong argument coming at the gun industry from both sides, and that's exactly the type of thing networks and broad-based organizations such as the NFL usually love to avoid.
That didn't stop NBC from running a gun-control ad during last year's Super Bowl featuring
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino
, but CBS seems to agree that the stakes have risen in the past few months.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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