Incendiary Image of the Day: Todd Staples Aims a Gun Edition

I saw this ad for Texas Republican Lt. Governor hopeful Todd Staples a couple of weeks ago when it first hit the intertubes. I didn’t think much of it – except that it reminded me of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s campaign ad. You know; the one where the then-future author of the post Newtown universal background check bill used a hunting rifle to shoot the Cap and Trade bill while touting his NRA ‘A’ rating and promising to protect his constituents’ Second Amendment protected rights. Anyway . . .

today’s New York Times is aghast that candidate Staples would aim a gun in a gun store while promising to “fight Obama’s liberal agenda.” Here’s the outrage from the Times’s carefully selected outrager, one Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the left-leaning Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and “an expert on political discourse.”

Though several of the Texas ads feature candidates with guns, Mr. Staples’s is perhaps the most striking, showing him taking a gun off a rack and aiming it as he vows to “fight Obama’s liberal agenda.”

“The question is: Why would need a gun to fight an agenda? You don’t shoot a policy or shoot an agenda — you fight an agenda with words,” Ms. Jamieson said. “It’s either a gratuitous visual, or trying to suggest that he takes this very seriously, and centering a gun is a metaphor.”

Mr. Staples said his 30-second spot was simply intended to underscore his willingness to fight for states’ rights and stand up to government overreach.

“What was so inflammatory was his proclamation during the State of the Union that he will run around Congress issuing executive fiat,” Mr. Staples said, referring to Mr. Obama’s promise to use executive actions to circumvent Congress when possible. “These are fighting words to Texans.”

The footage of him with the gun, he added, was simply an allusion to his promise to defend the Second Amendment rights of Texans. “We want to remind those in Washington that the best 911 is a .223,” he said, referring to a .223-caliber rifle.

Yay! The Times got it right! The caliber bit, of course. The rest of it, well, they found someone to conclude the article in a way that paints this anti-government “grumbling” as Texas “extremism.” Note to the Times: I don’t think so.

But don’t expect to see the tone of Texas ads thaw anytime soon. Running in a Republican primary in Texas, said Will Feltus, senior vice president for research and planning at National Media Inc., a Republican media-buying company, “is just as extreme as running in a Democratic primary in San Francisco.”


  1. avatar Hannibal says:

    Posing with a gun is about the same now as kissing a baby.

    1. avatar anon says:

      But if you pose one gun with one baby, better watch out for the impending s**t storm!

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Give this man a cigar!

  2. avatar juliesa says:

    Good. I was planning to vote for Todd tomorrow anyway, and if the NYT is wetting the bed over him, that’s all the better. My state senator Donna Campbell is running ads that show her shooting. She has an A+ TSCRA rating.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Heck, even that idiot Wendy Davis has posed with a shotgun. Not surprisingly, tho, she managed to look the part of an idiot, trying to hold it in a “ready” position while it was broken open.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Like Michael Dukakis took a ride in a tank, exposing himself as an incompetent tool for all the world to see.

    2. avatar juliesa says:

      Correction: TSRA.

      I was just on the TSCRA (cattle raisers) site checking their endorsements.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Now I get it– LOL!

  3. avatar Thomas Pain says:

    you got all these dudes from places like Connecticut and Rhode Island moving to Texas, it’s just a natural progression. 🙂

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      I see what you did there…

  4. avatar Jeff says:

    Hello folks. Here is a photo of me holding a politically correct firearm, the kind that doesn’t kill babies. I made sure it was the safe kind of gun before I picked it up and aimed it. You see, I’m a gun owner. I own a gun. Sometimes I shoot it. Here’s the type of gun I like to shoot. I’m holding it here, as you can see. I would probably buy this gun, but I already own one, because as you know, I’m a gun owner. That’s a pretty nice gun. Did I say I own a gun already?

    1. avatar BDub says:

      *sigh* Yup. Still waiting to see an ad with a candidate getting dressed in the morning and strapping on his/her carry gun and heading to work – no text, no dialog

      1. avatar Nine says:

        Or better yet actually correctly using an AR/AK in a normal fashion.

        No bolt actions.

        No O/Us.

        There is a dark place they can cram ‘politically correct’ crap.

  5. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    If he is pandering that hard, then I doubt his sincerity. If he is legit, his reputation should precede him.

    1. avatar BDub says:


    2. avatar juliesa says:

      Almost all the GOP candidates for the various offices are touting their support for guns and their hatred of Obama. I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. Just about all the GOP candidates for statewide office who’ve held office before have A or A+ NRA/TSRA ratings. Greg Abbott spent much of his time in office suing Obama.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I’m willing to vote for it for Duck. None of them actual is a Duck. I know that and so do you.

    3. avatar Another Robert says:

      Actually Staples does have a pretty good reputation hereabouts. They all have to be photo’ed holding a gun at least once, like the very first comment on this thread suggested. Even the erstwhile gun-grabbing Dems, if they want to have a chance. Abbot, the R gubernatorial candidate, was on the cover of Texas Monthly with an over-and-under held over his shoulder. Davis should have followed his lead when she had her obligatory gun-totin’ photo made, she wouldn’t have looked so much like someone who had no idea what she was doing trying to play like she’s gun-friendly. It does seem like hunting shotguns are the firearms of choice for these campaign pics, I would submit that if one of them does it with an AR, they have moved beyond campaign tradition and really are pandering.

  6. avatar Hal says:

    Hey I know that gun store Clerk. He was a shift manager at Red’s Indoor North in Pflugerville. Not sure where that video was taken… maybe Red’s South?

    The guy’s a complete curmudgeon so the poor candidate was probably the later victim of extreme snarkiness and gun condescension.

    1. avatar Maineuh says:

      “Gun condecension.” Great term.

    2. avatar Tyler Kee says:

      I had the EXACT same reaction

    3. avatar R Long says:

      Pretty confident that is indeed Red’s South.

    4. avatar benny says:

      I’ve heard many a tale of how Red’s treats its customers….
      I’m really curious how a place with such a bad rap stays in business for so long.

      1. avatar Hal says:

        Red’s north isn’t like that at all. In fact this guy in the video practically had his whole crew booted to the south location due to gun snobbery. If you go to the North location the store manager is named Dale and he’s a class act (no sarcasm). Kind, knowledgeable and no-nonsense. Good crew up at Red’s North. A bunch of gun nerds… which is just as it ought to be.

  7. avatar the ruester says:

    “Though several of the Texas ads feature candidates with guns,…”

    Yeah, every one that I’ve seen down here has a pro 2A edge, 7 by my count. I’m pretty sure there are a few democrats from the valley who also pose with firearms in their ads. Haven’t seen a single anti 2A ad from anyone. I thought I might be dreaming, but then someone here helpfully reminded me that Texas is not gun friendly.

  8. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    Your right kathy, he should have had 30 little school kids around him, pretending he was protecting them. Something you would know nothing about.

  9. avatar Fudgesicle says:

    I was in grade school when he was running for the Texas House of Representatives, he actually visited my class to talk to us about our system of government.

    We just finished early voting for the primaries, and it does seem like all of the Republican candidates are trying to that they are further right than the other guys. I don’t care for some of the stances that he has chosen to take, but when he specifically mentioned efforts to get rid of legislator carve outs, he earned my vote.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I’d like to carve out a few legislators.

  10. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Feinstein points a gun into an audience with her finger on the trigger and gets applause.

    Texas candidate aims a gun, at a gun shop, in a safe direction and gets vilified.

    Go figure.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    A thirty second spot with one second — one second! — of Staples shouldering a shotgun and he ends up getting a ration of sh1t from pro-gun and anti-gun alike.

    It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Well, there was also that split second at the end with the “come and take it” flag, but yeah.

  12. avatar Bill says:

    Bla bla bla, states rights, bla bla bla. Repeal the 17th, then talk about state rights.

  13. avatar Victor says:

    Funny, I checked out the video on youtube. Its got a hundred dislikes, I can guarantee you its because of the gay marriage bit. Now frankly, I don’t care what you wanna do if you’re gay/straight/etc. hell, I even have some friends who are bi and gay. But its sort of annoying seeing the prioritization of people nowadays. Equal rights doesn’t mean shit if the feds wanna burst down your door and waste your ass in “self defense”, or spy on you, or tax the living heck out of you, give welfare to folks who don’t do anything. It’s not that I think gay marriage should be illegal, I just don’t think it should be a pressing issue this day and age. Heck, marriage licenses were only developed so the government could tax you during the depression.

  14. avatar peirsonb says:

    expert on political disclosure

    So, B.S. in BS then?

  15. avatar WV Cycling says:

    Pretty sure WV would get rid of Manchin’s arse if it wasn’t for their love of welfare, food stamps, and other similar programs. Everyone I’ve met feels as if he’s going to look out for us ONLY AFTER he fills his coffers first, then only if his democratic views aren’t violated.

  16. avatar Manimal says:

    Sigh. Obama’s liberal agenda? The man is to the right of Nixon by any objective standard. Talk about agitprop.

    1. Nixon was a “progressive” as well.

  17. avatar BStacks says:

    The primaries are where we make it happen and today is the day!

    Dan Patrick is our guy.

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