Gun-themed campaign ads fill airwaves as 2nd Amendment debate heats up

Gun-themed campaign ads fill airwaves as 2nd Amendment debate heats up

Gun-themed campaign ads blanket airwaves ATLANTA – A candidate appears to shoot a rattlesnake with a revolver in one ad. Another “jokingly” intimidates a teenager who wants to date his daughter with a rifle. One person saws an AR-15 apart. Another candidate throws a gun into a fire. If it feels like candidates are bearing arms on television more than usual – they are. A new study from the Wesleyan Media Project shows nearly 12 percent of ads this campaign season contain a gun reference, continuing an upward trend. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp (R) told Fox News, "This ad is not about a school shooting, it’s about protecting my three teenaged daughters." (Kemp for Governor) In the 2012 election cycle, there were fewer than 25,000 ad airings referencing guns for congressional, Senate or gubernatorial campaigns. This accounted for 1 percent of the total number of ad airings. The 2018 cycle has already surpassed that number, with gun references in 56,000 ad airings. In political races where there are a packed field of candidates, some are setting themselves apart by stepping into an explosive topic that sure to get attention – gun control. Political ads involving guns have been used by candidates – both Republicans and Democrats – as a sure-fire publicity generator that riles up constituents. Atlanta-based media consultant Phil Kent attributed the uptick to “a spate of highly publicized shootings in the last couple of years.” He cited the incidents in Parkland, Fla. and Las Vegas, Nev. […]

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