Louisville attack survivor subject of NRA ad

Louisville attack survivor subject of NRA ad

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - She fired on her attacker inside a downtown Louisville parking garage. Now she's trying to win votes for Donald Trump.

Although we've heard police interviews and statements from the victim, the public is seeing and hearing former Louisville lawyer Kristi McMains tell her story for the first time.

In a political ad for the National Rifle Association, McMains talks about the January armed robbery that left her shaken. "A man attacked me in a parking garage, tried to stab me with an 8-inch knife, but I carry a pistol. I fight back."

McMains, 26, is the focus of the NRA's biggest ad buy of the year - $6.5 million. That's how compelling the NRA believes her story is. She's also a young woman, a demographic the Trump campaign could use support from.

The ad is running nationwide on cable television and in key battleground states.

McMains contacted the NRA, asking the organization to share the moment from January 26 when she became a crime survivor in the Fourth Street Live! parking garage. Her accused attacker, John Ganobcik, followed her off the elevator as she left work. McMains said Ganobcik put a knife to her throat, but she was able to get to her gun and shot him.

In the ad, McMains tells viewers, "Every woman has a right to defend herself with a gun if she chooses. Hillary Clinton disagrees with that."

Congressman John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Kentucky's 3rd  District said of the ad, "This is typical NRA strategy, scare people about a politician's intentions, vis-a-vis guns, and people will run out and buy guns."

Yarmuth said Hillary Clinton's gun policies are clear - she wants to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people like suspected terrorists and convicted felons, not law abiding citizens as he said the NRA would have you believe.

"The woman in the ad has nothing to fear from a Hillary Clinton administration," Yarmuth said. "The second amendment will not be changed."

NRA Spokeswoman Jennifer Baker responded, "That's absolutely not true and we only need to look to Hillary Clinton's word."  Baker said the ad speaks to one thing - the Supreme Court and the fundamental right to self-protection, which she said will be in jeopardy if Hillary Clinton becomes President.

Baker said McMains is a perfect spokeswoman for the cause. "Kristi is a young woman," she said. "She has a real-life example of how the second amendment saved her life. And so yes, I think that she touches women and younger voters in a way that other people might not be able to do."

Congressman Yarmuth said the NRA made the same claims about Barack Obama before he took over the presidency and Yarmuth said now there
are millions more guns in circulation.

WATCH: Connie Leonard's report

University of Louisville Political Science Professor Jason Gainous told WAVE 3 News he doesn't believe the ad does anything for Donald Trump, saying the kind of woman that responds to the ad is probably already voting for Trump. Gainous believes it is a positive ad, however, for the NRA in terms of contributions.

The trial for McMains' accused attacker is set for July 11, 2017.  A spokesman for the Commonwealth Attorney said McMains did tell them about the ad, but that she should be careful to make sure all details she's discussing in it match what she originally told police.

Because McMains is a witness, prosecutors can't tell her what to do. Although she is telling her story to a national audience, McMains told the NRA she doesn't want to discuss the ad any further because she doesn't want to jeopardize her criminal case. 

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.