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