Politics

This Veteran Shut Down an Argument on Gun Control

September 15th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander made a surprising video to promote background checks for gun purchases: he assembled an assault rifle blind folded.

Jason Kander campaign ad for gun background checks.

Kander, who is a U.S. Army veteran, is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate vying for Republican Sen. Roy Blunt's seat. The National Rifle Association has been running attack ads against Kander calling him "anti-gun."

However, Kander used an AR-15 to make the point that supporting common sense gun control laws like background checks does not mean he's anti-gun or anti-Second Amendment.

The ad starts with Kander standing in front of a table blind-folded with pieces of the gun in front of him.

"I'm Jason Kander and Sen. Blunt has been attacking me on guns. Well, in the Army, I learned how to use and respect my rifle. In Afghanistan, I volunteered to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmored SUV's.

He then says that he's both pro-Second Amendment and pro-background checks.

"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."

At the end of the ad Kander has assembled the rifle in less than 30 seconds, while blindfolded. He then issues a challenge to Blunt, who has no military experience.

"I approve this message, because I'd like to see Sen. Blunt do this."

Second Amendment rights are often used as a straw man argument against gun control.

At a June PBS townhall in Indiana, audience member Doug Rhude asked President Barack Obama why he and Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton want to take guns away from "responsible gun owners."

"...why then do you and Hillary want to control and restrict and limit gun manufacturers, gun owners and responsible use of guns and ammunition to the rest of us, the good guys, instead of holding the bad guys accountable for their actions?"

Obama responded by clarifying that he supports gun control like background checks and keeping people on federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns, but that those measures aren't taking guns away from responsible gun owners.

"There have been more guns sold since I have been president than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country. And at no point have I ever, EVER proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true."

A survey by Pew Research Center from last month found that 83 percent of registered voters who support Donald Trump or Clinton are in favor of background checks for gun sales. About 74 percent said they would support measures that ban people from federal terror watch lists from buying guns. 

"Where Clinton and Trump supporters stand on gun policy proposals."

Congress has been unable to pass any gun control legislation despite two recent pushes in the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting that killed 49 people.

In June, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy from Connecticut, the same state where the Sandy Hook tragedy took place, led a 15-hour filibuster to protest a lack of action on gun control by Congress.

The Senate took a vote on four measures but nothing passed.

The next week, House Democrats, led by civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis from Georgia, staged a sit-in of the House floor that lasted more than 24 hours to push for a vote on gun control legislation. However, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would not allow a vote and sent the House into recess early.

RELATED: Here Are the Results of the 15-Hour Stand-In on Gun Control