It’s no secret, Republicans love their guns and using them in television ads has become somewhat of an unofficial requirement to being a viable candidate in the GOP. But most of the time, Republicans use their guns the wrong way. It’s one thing to brag about your love of guns and shooting and hunting in ads, but it’s quite another when you use guns while bashing your political opponent or a policy you don’t like.
Such was the case in an ad ran by Republican House candidate, Ron Gould. Gould is an Arizona conservative running for a seat in the US House. And he hates the Affordable Care Act, also known to as Obamacare. He hates it so much in fact, that he apparently wants to shoot it, literally.
In his new ad running in Arizona, Gould shows vivid gun imagery while he’s seen grinning and standing proud. Gould then grabs a gun of his own, throws the text of the Affordable Care Act into the air, and blows a hole through it.
Here’s the ad:
This kind of ad is very suggestive. Perhaps Gould isn’t directly calling for people to use their guns to end the Affordable Care Act, but it certainly seems like he’s suggesting it. Using gun imagery in ads attacking opponents and government policies is never a good idea. If this ad inspires even one crazy person to pick up a gun and go after Democrats, Republicans will be to blame. If a Democrat gets hurt or killed because of this ad, Republicans will have blood on their hands. But I doubt they give a damn about who gets hurt as long as they further their agenda.
Associating gun imagery and gun play with attack ads is wrong. It sends a negative message that has led to tragedy in the past. Remember Sarah Palin’s cross-hairs map? Remember all of the “second amendment remedies” talk? In January 2011, this imagery and rhetoric led to the horrific shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. This ad is exactly the kind of thing that leads to tragedies. This ad suggests that if the Supreme Court decides in favor of the Affordable Care Act, people should forcefully kill the law by violent means. This is clearly a misguided ad.
I don’t understand why Republicans are so obsessed with guns and killing. I definitely don’t understand why they feel the need to involve guns in politics, unless the underlying theme of bringing guns into politics is to threaten their opponents with death unless they get what they want. This cowboy mentality belongs in the 1800s, not 21st Century America. If you want to demonstrate that you love guns, fine. But using guns to oppose an opponent or a policy? It’s despicable and should disqualify Gould and others like him from running for political office.