SPOTLIGHT

Guns Provide Ammo in House Specials

The two major party nominees fired rifles at screens in ads released Thursday.

FILE - In this March 18, 2017 file photo, Congressional candidate Rob Quist meets with supporters during the annual Mansfield Metcalf Celebration dinner hosted by the state's Democratic Party in Helena, Montana. He is trying to fire up the party faithful in his race against Republican Greg Gianforte in a May 25 special election to fill Montana's sole congressional seat.
AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan
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Kyle Trygstad
April 21, 2017, 7:26 a.m.

The spe­cial elec­tion for Montana’s at-large dis­trict stood out Thursday as both cam­paigns re­leased TV ads fea­tur­ing a can­did­ate fir­ing a rifle at a screen—one TV and one com­puter—to high­light their sup­port for 2nd Amend­ment rights.

The Wash­ing­ton Post provided a good sum­mary of the con­text for the ads—it noted na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­ans are at­tack­ing Demo­crat Rob Quist in the May 25 con­test over his com­ment about a pos­sible na­tion­al re­gistry for auto­mat­ic weapons, and it com­pared

Quist’s spot to Demo­crat­ic Sen. Joe Manchin’s fam­ous ad from the fi­nal weeks of the 2010 West Vir­gin­ia Sen­ate race, when he shot a hole through the cap-and-trade bill.

Re­mark­ably, the two sim­il­ar ads from Quist and Re­pub­lic­an Greg Gi­an­forte wer­en’t even the only gun-re­lated ads re­leased over the last couple of days in a House spe­cial elec­tion race. In South Car­o­lina’s 5th Dis­trict, which is hold­ing primar­ies on May 2, Re­pub­lic­an Sheri Few stands in front of an Amer­ic­an flag hold­ing an as­sault rifle in a new web ad.

There were plenty of gun-fo­cused ads in 2016, per­haps most not­ably in Mis­souri. Re­pub­lic­an Eric Greit­ens, a former Navy SEAL, fired a ma­chine gun and a mil­it­ary-style as­sault rifle in two sep­ar­ate ads from his suc­cess­ful gov­ernor cam­paign, while Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate can­did­ate Jason Kander, an Afgh­anistan vet­er­an, touted his sup­port for back­ground checks while as­sem­bling an as­sault rifle while blind­folded.

Kyle Tryg­stad

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