Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander has put out a powerful new campaign commercial. In it, he talks about his military service while assembling an AR-15. The catch is, he does it blindfolded.
That alone would be impressive, but there’s a twist. Kander is a Democrat. And he’s issued a big challenge to his Republican challenger–at the end of the video, he asks to see Republican Senator Roy Blunt do the same.
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It is an impressive video. Not only does Kander actually have a solid record of military service, he assembles the AR-15 like a boss. His movements are confident and commanding. Gun owners everywhere will recognize Kander as one of their own.
Yet his politics still leave those on the right questioning his priorities.
Kander, who is 35, is a former U.S. Army officer. “I’m Jason Kander, and Sen. (Roy) Blunt has been attacking me on guns,” Kander says as the 30 second campaign ad begins.
“Well, in the Army, I learned how to use and respect my rifle. I also believe in background checks, so that terrorists can’t get their hands on one of these.”
If Kander is referring to background checks, than this is a non-starter for most Republicans. Yet many hear this as code for support of a terrorist watch list. Many Democrats have been pushing for regulations that would keep those on the terrorist watch list, which itself remains shrouded in secrecy, from buying guns.
“I approved this message,” Kander says as he yanks the charging handle back, “because I’d like to see Sen. Blunt do this.”
Blunt, aged 66, has held seven terms in Congress. He was elected to the Senate in 2010, and is a strong Second Amendmant supporter.
Yet Kander has his sights set on Blunt, who took three student deferments during Vietnam.
Tate O’Connor, a spokesman for Blunt, said Kander is “reacting to an NRA ad highlighting the fact that he was one of the most anti-Second Amendment legislators and was awarded an F for his opposition to Missourians’ Second Amendment rights.”
No word yet on a Blunt answer to the Kander challenge.