A Brief History of Politicians Blowing Things Up

Republican State Sen. Ron Gould is running for Congress in Arizona’s 4th congressional district. It’s a heavily Democratic district, so he’s probably not going to win. But Gould’s not going down quietly. He has released an ad (below) in which he blasts a hole through Obamacare with a pump-action shotgun. “It’s rather ridiculous that somehow now guns are off limits because we had a congresswoman shot in Arizona,” he told Fox 10 Phoenix.

Firing a gun in a political ad is hardly a new idea. And it’s not the exclusive domain of Republicans. Here’s a quick guide to how it’s done:

Shooter: Arizona congressional candidate Ron Gould (R).

Year: 2012.

Weapon: pump-action shotgun.

Target: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

Scale of Destruction: Mixed—Gould uses what looks to be a slimmed-down version of the law.

 

ShooterOklahoma congressional candidate Rob Wallace (D).

Year: 2012

Weapon: pump shotgun; scoped thirty-ought-six hunting rifle.

Target: The state of Texas.

Scale of destruction: Absolute.

ShooterWest Virginia Senate candidate Joe Manchin (D).

Year: 2010

Weapon: scoped single-shot bolt-action hunting rifle.

Target: “The cap-and-trade bill.”

Scale of Destruction: Does it really count if the bill was already dead? 

Candidate: Alabama Agriculture Commission candidate Dale Peterson (R).

Year: 2010.

Weapon: .30-caliber lever-action Winchester.

Target: A supporter of his opponent.

Scale of Destruction: None; Dale Peterson is, at heart, a man of peace.

Candidate: Colorado congressional candidate Bob McConnell (R).

Year: 2010.

Weapon: automatic pistol; heavily modified AR-15 assault carbine.

Target: Osama bin Laden.

Scale of destruction: Destroyed.

Candidate: Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D).

Year: 2008.

Weapon: over-and-under double-barreled shotgun.

Target: The federal Real ID law.

Scale of Distruction: Absolute.

Honorable mentions go to Wyoming state Sen. Gerald Gay (R)—who has taken down* the videos of him blowing up “socialism,” the Affordable Care Act, the US Capitol, and cap-and-trade with a semi-automatic AR-15 (among other tools)—and Arizona congressional candidate Pamela Gorma (R). Per YouTube, embedding of Gorma’s 2010 campaign ad has been “disabled by request.” Given that Gorma’s ad basically consists of her firing a machine gun for 45 seconds, we’re inclined to honor that request.

Update: Gay’s demolition of the Capitol is still viewable on Facebook.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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