Senate Candidate Assembles Rifle Blindfolded In New Ad

By John Celock

The Democratic U.S. Senate nominee in Missouri is assembling a rifle blindfolded in a new campaign ad as gun issues take a bigger stake in the Show Me State.

Democratic nominee Jason Kander assembles the rifle blindfolded while discussing his military service in Afghanistan and support for barring those on the terrorist watch list from being able to purchase guns. In the ad Kander is critical of Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R) criticisms of Kander on gun issues and challenges Blunt to assemble a rifle blindfolded.

“Senator Blunt has been attacking me on guns,” Kander says as he assembles the rifle. “Well in the Army I learned how to use and respect my rifle.”

Kander, the Missouri secretary of state, touched on his service as an Army intelligence captain in Afghanistan noting that while serving he “volunteered to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmed SUVs.” Kander also said that he had supported Second Amendment issues during his four years in the state Legislature. Kander then segued into his support of gun control issues.

“I also believe in background checks so terrorists can’t get their hands on these,” he said.

Blunt, who has been endorsed by the NRA in his bid for a second term, has been critical of Kander’s support for barring those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, an issue the two have fought over since June. Blunt and his supporters have made Kander’s stance on the issue and Blunt’s backing by the NRA central themes in recent weeks. The ad comes a day after the Republican-controlled state Legislature overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) veto to legalize concealed carry of guns without a permit – known as constitutional carry.

Kander, 35, has made his military background a central part of his campaign, saying that his service in Afghanistan led him to seek elective office, including the Senate seat. He has said that seeing corruption in Afghanistan led him to be interested in working on ethics reform in state government.

Kander, who campaigned in his first state legislature term wearing his combat boots, is not the only young Missouri veteran to make his military service a part of his campaign. State Rep. Stephen Webber (D-Columbia), a Kander ally, recently released a video highlighting his service as a Marine in Iraq.

Kander ended the ad by challenging Blunt to be able to assemble a rifle blindfolded.

“I approve this message because I’d like to see Senator Blunt do this,” he said.