Mar 25, 2010

On Automatic Weapons and Political Ads

Left: Jesse Kelly for Congress ad; click for larger version

My eye caught this banner advertisement this morning for the Jesse Kelly for Congress campaign. What intrigued me was not the fact that this United States Marine Corps combat veteran played up his military record, but rather that this advertisement featured Kelly posing with an automatic weapon.

The weapon appears to be an assault rifle, perhaps an M4 carbine or an M16A2 assault rifle. Ostensibly this is an image from Kelly's tour of duty in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Kelly is challenging Arizona Democrat Gabrielle Giffords from the U.S. House of Representatives. His platform is fairly typical for GOP candidates this year: against the recently passed health care bill, for smaller government, supports the overseas wars, for a double border fence with Mexico, and pro-life.

A scan of Google Images resulted in another Kelly advertisement with his rifle:

Left: Jesse Kelly for Congress ad; click for larger version

Clearly Kelly wants to promote the idea of the "warrior in Congress" that his advertisements reinforce. Setting aside the militancy in the ads, I have been scratching my head trying to think of another example of a political advertisement that featured a candidate with some form of weaponry. Theodore Roosevelt and his "Big Stick" comes to mind, but after this I am drawing a blank (pun intended).

I am not inclined to suggest that in this political environment a gun-waving strategy would hurt, though I have some reservations about whether this is a responsible ad (note to driveby posters: I am pro-Second Amendment, so do not start with the "typical liberal" rants). I am rather curious if this is an aberration, a long-standing tradition, or a new trend in which we will see many more arms-bearing political candidates.

If you think of any examples, please post them in the Comments section, and add an image link if you do find some.


mud_rake said...

That political ad appeals to the far-right wingnuts who are terribly angry and dangerous these days.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello History Mike,
Oddly enough I just did a posting on Blackwater being the privatizing of our Armed Forces, subcontracting our war efforts. It contains a clip for the new shotgun weapon they intend to deploy with their people.

Mad Jack said...

Here's a link to Engineer of Knowledge post about the AA-12, which is a revision of the old Atchisson Assault Shotgun (link here, now that Wikipedia is back up). The AA-12 has the same inherent problems the Atchisson did. It's drum fed with a maximum of 32 rounds per drum. Ammunition is expensive with the high explosive anti-personnel rounds being even more costly than usual. It fires from an open bolt which makes is susceptible to fouling from debris. Bottom line: if the AA-12 were everything the Blackwater video claims it to be, our police forces would have them as standard issue, and they don't; they use the AR-15/M16. Personally, I'll take the AK-47.

Back in 2004...
Donning my camouflage hunting coat and my international orange State approved hunting hat, I scared up a Democrat trying to figure out how to load his 12 gauge double. Low and behold it was John Kerry! Links here, here and here. Reading Jesse Kelly on the issues doesn't thrill me, but I don't know what the other evil is in that election, and since I don't live in Arizona it doesn't matter anyway.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello All,
What I really find offensive as a member of the Republican Party, is the term RINO (Republican In Name Only) on Jesse Kelly’s political ad. Any thought that you are not a Republican if you have a dissenting view from the “Goose Stepping Mandate” from Rush Limbaugh, Teabaggers, or the Christian Brother John Birch.

Now this attitude has morphed into the terrorist acts of the “Night of Broken Glass” these past few days emulating the Brown Shirts of 1936 in Nazi Germany.

marry said...

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Communication Dissertation

Jason said...

Now this attitude has morphed into the terrorist acts of the “Night of Broken Glass” these past few days emulating the Brown Shirts of 1936 in Nazi Germany.
Godwin's Law met! Congrats!

I'm sorry, a few bricks through the windows of our elected representatives with mean messages scrawled on some of them just ain't the same as wholesale destruction of the private property of a disfavored ethnic group (particularly when you consider the almost 100 deaths and transportation of 20-30k others to concentration camps).

David said...

I love me some guns.. the more automatic the better... Aw schucks, I forgot to load my UZI's clip. But yes Mike the automatic weapons in an actual political ad is quite interesting.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Jason,
Interesting comment. Can you pass on the chronological dates of Germany’s Kristallnacht and the beginnings of deportation of Jews to concentration camps? Were there other groups of people sent to concentration camps besides the Jews?

As I read your comment, you are mentioning Kristallnacht and Deportation of Jews as if they were being in tandem. I find it interesting that you do not see “bricks being thrown through windows” as being “destruction to private property?” I would love to hear your take and thoughts on this subject.

I must ask that you pass on your pontifications, because I would really like to know the answer, the bricks thrown through the windows of Jewish shop keepers on Kristallnacht are different than the bricks thrown through Democratic Congressman’s windows of homes and offices by the Teabaggers? Examples being that it is the volume of bricks that makes it different? The act itself does not make the similarity?

I really want to know your thought process. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello All,
Well it seems obvious that Jason can’t debate / argue his point by employing what most learned in English 101, Logical Argumentation. I guess that I will just conclude this posting noting that the historical use of the same tools to control a mob and incite fascist violence are an established fact whether it was the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire, Nazis of Germany, followers of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, Ku Klux Klan, John Birch Society, or Teabaggers. Too many weak minds can so easily be lead by these same tools no matter what generation. Those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it. The common denominator is still the lack of education of those who can be so easily lead.

Jason said...

more than 10" incidents of vandalism...against, not at the behest of, gov't officials.

As far as I can determine, most of the incidents have been not at the Congresspeople's homes:

Louise Slaughter (D-NY): damage to district offices. Not private property.

Albemarle County (VA) GOP: damage to county HQ.

Tom Perriello (D-VA): brother's home had propane line cut after address posted mistakenly as Perriello's home. This actually was private property.

Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ): damage to district offices.

Additional unspecified damage to "Democratic offices" in Western NY and KS listed in this article. Not sure if one of them was the Rochester office mentioned here. I expect the KS mentioning was the Sedgwick Co Dem HQ mentioned here.

Not saying I agree with what these idiots are doing, but certainly a comparison with Krystallnacht is a bit of a stretch: not only on volume of bricks, but on who's doing the throwing and why. The target of our recent bricks is the ruling class. The target of Krystallnacht (and the horrible years that followed) was a party disfavored by the ruling class.

Jason said...

Dang it, half my comment got eaten by some weird limit that Blogger has. I wonder if I can recover it?`

Jason said...

OK, got it--it was my failure to close an HTML tag:

Krystallnacht: 2 nights of rampaging mobs destroying (in most cases burning to the ground) 7500 Jewish businesses, homes, and synogogues; an unknown exact number of deaths but thought to be at least 90; 20-30k arrests of Jews (with later deportation to concentration camps). This was 1938; the Nazi party that basically organized the pogrom was in control of the gov't.

In the past week, according to House Democratic leaders "more than 10" incidents of vandalism...against, not at the behest of, gov't officials.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mad Jack said...

This was 1938; the Nazi party that basically organized the pogrom was in control of the gov't.

So we should be gearing up for the Night of the Moonbats?

If the Stupid Party and its allies were hoping for a night of broken glass, they were disappointed. This is close to a night of TP.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Jason,
OK let’s take a look here and evaluate what you have written.

I see that you do admit that private property was damaged as I have said. Good.

But then you give examples of Congressmen’s offices have been damaged and you do not consider this a private property. Interesting.

1. I am a very active member of the Republican Party in the 1st district in Maryland and because I work in two engineering disciplines, I have worked on many projects in the past with the Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest. I truly believe that I can pass on some enlightenment with regards to government offices and private property.

2. Well I know for a fact that of the three offices that Congressman Wayne Gilchrest had in his district, one in Salisbury, MD, one in Easton, MD, and one in Chestertown, MD; that all three offices were owned by a private citizen and the government just rented office space. Yes Private Property that was rented to the U.S. Government.

3. The building that the “Veterans Affairs” is located in that is in Cambridge, MD; is owned by a private citizen by the name Jeff Powell. They also own a local real-estate business of Powell Reality. The “Government Veterans Affairs” rents the building for their use. Again, Private Property that is rented to the U.S. Government.

See where I am going with this? Your many listings of Congressmen and government offices as being proof as if this was not private property falls very short for those who know how all of this works.

Now I asked that you write back using Critical Writing / Logical Argumentation and I saw none of this within your reply. I am guessing that you have not had any advance education past 12 grade high school? Allow me to help if I may. I have numbered my comments and used the English 101 format for Critical Writing / Logical Argumentation below so you may see what I am referencing.

1. You first make an opening statement. (Note my opening statement at the top)

2. You present your first point.
You then present your evidence to support that point.
You present another bit of evidence to support that same point. (Please note my examples with the same numbered reference)

3. You present your second point.
You then present your evidence to support that point, etc. (Again note example with the same numbered reference)

4. You finish with a closing statement giving a summarization of the facts and points presented with in your writing. (closing statement below)

For instance my closing statement would be:
4. Knowing as I do from being involved with the Republican Party in the 1st district in Maryland and working with many projects with Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, I am well aware that the damage of government offices were really rental space from private citizens who own the private property.

I am glad to hear that you do not agree with what these idiots are doing. This gives me a lot of hope.

Take care.

Jason said...


I apologize that some of my logic probably got lost by the tortured way in which Blogger handled my post--it probably made more sense originally, then I had to repost the part that didn't get up originally, and it all became a mess. Of course, I also thought having my main point a couple posts above my information was sufficient; I didn't know it needed to be repeated.

In the meantime, I will happily concede to you that private property rented by the government remains legally the private property of the owner; I was not aware of the exact status of the particular offices targeted--the only vandalism which was clearly private given the details in the articles was the misplaced bit at the Congressman's brother's home.

However, I would also argue that symbolically (and in some cases legally), space rented by the government for a gov't official isn't really the same as truly private property. The symbolism is, I suppose, a non-provable matter. For an example of the legal variation, however, Ohio's concealed carry law treats private property rented to gov't officials as gov't property for the purpose of concealed carry.

This is an important distinction for my previous main point, that a comparison of these recent events to Kristallnacht is a bit of a stretch.

1) Least importantly, the volume of destruction is completely different. 7500 businesses/synogogues vs. "more than 10" (of which I could only find half a dozen). References above.

2) The number of injuries simply doesn't compare. About 100 deaths (maybe more, who really knows?) and uncounted injuries vs. none (yet) in the current brick throwings. References above.

3) The arrests don't compare either. Best guesses are that 25-30k Jews were arrested (and later sent to camps); no members of Congress have been touched. References above.

4) Most importantly, the direction of the two incidents was completely different, and in my mind this is the biggest distinction. Kristallnacht: directed by gov't officials at private individuals, and property that was private (both legally and psychologically). Current brick throwing: directed against gov't officials and (with one exception) property that was symbolic of their status as legislators (if legally private).

In closing, Kristallnacht is not particularly similar to the current episode of brick-throwing, in terms of scale or of spirit.

That said, the brick-throwers still should have written letters to their Congresspeople like I did. :) There are plenty of ways to express displeasure that aren't, well, violent....

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Jason,
I cannot sign on nor agree that should office space be rented to government facilities by default no longer be considered private property. I am sure the insurance companies that have the policies with the private citizens who rent to government offices would disagree with you that it is still not private property. :-) This does cost us all in higher premiums (tax dollars) because insurance companies will recoup their losses over the long run for this targeted damage.

I want to complement you on the improvement of your writing. Much better.

You said, “In closing, Kristallnacht is not particularly similar to the current episode of brick-throwing, in terms of scale (You do bring up a good point and I agree the scale was much less) or of spirit (On this I am not so sure. Should this element of participators grow bigger, where these types of actions have a means of feeding upon themselves exponentially. I give the example much like the mob mentality that works itself into such frenzy that they break into a jail to hang someone arrested but not had their trial. i.e. a Lynch Mob. The last man lynched here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland was in my mother’s time. This Teabagger destruction has the “potential” to quickly get out of hand.)

You concluded with:
“That said, the brick-throwers still should have written letters to their Congress people like I did. :) There are plenty of ways to express displeasure that aren't, well, violent....”

Well stated and good for you!! Free Speech is a very powerful tool and has more validity when presenting your argument. I have enjoyed our conversation and look forward to many more.

Take care.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

I should add that everyone is the summation of their own life’s experiences. I have written about the Cambridge, MD race riots that happened when I was in my teens and because I lived through this, I know well how mob mentality can get out of hand so quickly. For me this Teabagger incident is a Déjà vu.

I am passing on a web link as I think you may find this interesting.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Sorry. OK let's try this agian.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

For some reason when I past this link it leaves off the end. Please add to the end:



If this does not work, just type in "The Cambridge Convergence" into Google search.

Darn Computers!!! :-)