While it’s not exactly clear who the first politician was to use a gun in a campaign ad, what is clear is that this kind of ad is now made with such frequency as to be something of a banality. The latest candidate to shoot a firearm for the cameras is Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who’s challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. The ad is a pathetic attempt by Grimes to look as macho and stupid as the men who cut these kinds of commercials:
As a Democrat in a southern state at a time when President Obama is quite unpopular there, Grimes faces an uphill battle. The point of the ad, I guess, is to show that Grimes disagrees with Obama on certain things, but especially guns and that she won’t allow Obama to take them away from hard-working Kentuckians.
The problem with these kinds of ads is that they take powerful instruments of death that require great respect, and turn them into light-hearted props, like a clown’s balloons at a kid’s birthday party. They also add nothing to the discussion. A weapon is not a policy or an argument. Anyone who needs one to make a point should seriously learn how to communicate more effectively.
Grimes’ ad basically uses the same formula West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin’s infamous 2010 spot, in which he literally shot the cap and trade bill:
But let’s see who else couldn’t make it through a campaign without waving a gun around.
Here’s independent U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa Bob Quast with his glock:
Not to be outdone, here’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa Joni Ernst at the firing range:
Another U.S. Senate hopeful, Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan, pumps a television full of lead:
Here’s Democratic congressional candidate Estakio Beltran of Washington state taking a shotgun to an elephant (GOP) pinata:
This is Alabama Republican congressional candidate Will Brooke, who’s yet another politician who doesn’t seem to understand that shooting Obamacare doesn’t actually mean you’ve killed the law:
Here’s Montana state Rep. Matt Rosendale, who in this ad “shoots down” a nonexistent government drone:
Here’s 2012 Georgia congressional candidate John Barrow, who apparently needed two guns to get his point across:
Using firearms for campaign ads is one of the worst forms of political pandering ever conceived. Gun owners should be insulted at these shameless attempts to persuade them that a candidate is just like them, as if owning a gun automatically makes one part of a special ideological monolith. And if you’re the type of person who can be persuaded to vote for a candidate based on the guns they have or the kind of trucks they drive, you shouldn’t be voting in the first place.