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Republican fires gun

A new video contrasts GOP candidates' campaign ads that show them firing guns with school shootings in their states. (Photo: Timothy Burke/screenshot)

'I Approve This Message': Campaign Ad Mashup Exposes Gun-Obsessed GOP

"If you're only going to watch one thing today, make it this."

Common Dreams staff

Amid heightened calls for stricter U.S. gun laws after a massacre at a Texas elementary school, a video published Tuesday targets Republican political candidates—and right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia—for using firearms in campaign advertising to appeal to voters.

"If you're only going to watch one thing today, make it this," Indivisible tweeted, sharing the two-minute video produced by communications consultant Timothy Burke.

The video—already viewed over a quarter-million times on Twitter—comes after an 18-year-old gunman with a legally purchased firearm killed 19 children and two teachers last week at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

"Along with many others Americans," Burke told Common Dreams, "I found myself angry last week and just needed some kind of outlet to manage that anger over the lack of movement in this county in terms of gun violence and mass shootings."

Burke, whose past work includes a viral video about Sinclair Broadcast Group, said he had the idea for the new mashup before he was sure it could actually be done.

"I wondered if there had been a school shooting in every state where one of these lawmakers who made one of these ads is from—and it turned out there was," he said of the GOP candidates featured.

Near the end of the video, there is a clip of President Joe Biden's remarks after the Uvalde shooting, demanding that policymakers stand up to the gun lobby—then part of a Manchin ad in which the West Virginian touts an endorsement from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Manchin has repeatedly thwarted his own party's agenda in Congress. Burke said the inclusion of the Democrat's ad speaks for itself.

Minutes after sharing Burke's video, Indivisible noted that an elderly woman was fatally shot and at least two other people were wounded Tuesday after the Morris Jeff High School graduation ceremony in New Orleans.

"An average day in the United States of America doesn't have to be like this," the group said. "We need our leaders to take immediate action on universal background checks."

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