It's not every day that state senate races make national news. But thanks to a viral ad, Missouri's race is getting a little more spotlight than normal. Democratic senate hopeful and former Army Captain Jason Kander showed off his gun skills in a new ad to put to rest implications that he would be bad for Missourians' second amendment rights.
Kander's ad is likely a response to a recent ad from the NRA, which attacked Kander for being too soft on run rights. The NRA warned Missourians not to vote for Kander for fear that their rights to own guns would be taken away. The fact that the NRA painted Kander as a gun-hating liberal makes the Missouri secretary of state's response pretty funny.
In the 30-second ad, Kander is shown wearing a sleeping mask, and begins assembling a rifle out of pure muscle memory. As he pieces together the gun, he explains his stance on them:
Senator Blunt has been attacking me on guns. Well, in the army, I learned how to use and respect my weapon. In Afghanistan, I volunteered to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmed SUVs. And in the state legislature, I supported Second Amendment rights. I also believe in background checks so that terrorists can't get their hands on one of these.
He then clicks the gun into place, and challenges Blunt to assemble a weapon with his eyes closed as well. It's a pretty powerful statement, and one that Missourians could certainly take to. Kander is hoping to get the support of those in the state who aren't interested in seeing their guns be restricted, while also being mindful of gun owners who want universal background checks, which is about 85 percent of gun owners, according to the Washington Post.
Kander is an example of someone who knows guns well, knows how to use them, and realizes that when in the wrong hands, they can be incredibly dangerous, so he wants to work to keep them out of those hands. What's almost more impressive about Kander's feat is that the gun isn't even his. Although his campaign said that he is a gun owner, the AR-15 in the video actually belongs to Kander's brother.
Kander used the opportunity to emphasize his service to his country, and appeal to hardworking Americans who just want to keep their country safe. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that Blunt apparently received three deferments during the Vietnam War and did not serve in the military. For Kander to stand up for himself and express his experience in such an impactful way is interesting to watch, and may help some Missourians see where he's coming from ahead of the election.