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Army vet Dan Helmer is one of six Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge GOP incumbent Barbara Comstock in northern Virginia’s 10th congressional district. It’s considered a competitive district in which Comstock was reelected in 2016 by 16 points, while the same voters went for Hillary Clinton by 10 points. Since Parkland, the Democrat primary has devolved into a contest to see who can call for more restrictive gun control laws.

To demonstrate his gun control bona fides and illustrate the pressing need to close the dreaded “gun-show loophole,” Helmer put on a ball cap (because all hicks and crazy gun people wear ball caps, amirite?) and bought an AR at a gun show held somewhere in the district.

In the video, Helmer makes sure to say for the camera that the AR he’s examining uses the same ammo and has the same capacity as the M4A1 he carried in Afghanistan. Strolling out, after buying the rifle (just two miles away from a school, no less!), he tells the camera that his new AR is  “an incredibly dangerous piece of weaponry meant for war.”

Only Helmer seems to be having trouble recognizing the difference between the M4A1 he carried in Afghanistan from the M4gery civvy version he picked up at the gun show. We’re guessing the gun show rifle he bought was missing the giggle switch that the rifle he slung in the Army had, despite claiming that the rifle he bought is “functionally similar” to his battle rifle.

Or maybe not. Maybe Helmer somehow took possession of a full-auto-capable rifle at a Virginia gun show and walked out without a background check or paying a tax stamp. In which case, he’s now a felon. Whatever, let’s not let facts get in the way of making a political point.

 As the Post notes,

The issue took on new resonance after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and appeals to the female suburban voters who helped Gov. Ralph Northam (D) win last year — a victory Democrats in Virginia’s 10th District hope to replicate in November.

The 2017 election represented a turning point for gun-control advocates. They cite exit polls that showed voters who care about gun policy were just as likely to turn out for Northam, who pledged stricter gun laws, as they did for Republican Ed Gillespie, who opposed new restrictions. Gun policy was the second-most-important issue for voters, ranking below health care and just above taxes.

Expect much more of this in a lot of competitive districts around the country. Showing how much you want to restrict access to semi-automatic weapons of war is sure to be a big plus in Democrat primary contests. The question is, how much will pressing gun control as a defining issue help them when they face Republicans in November?


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    • This leftist is exactly why the founding fathers added the second amendment. Here is a “veteran” who doesn’t even know the difference between an “assault weapon” and an AR15. Here is a “veteran” who doesn’t even understand what his military oath of office said or meant! Here’s a “veteran” who doesn’t understand ballistics or the difference between basic deer hunting cartridges and the .223. Here is a “veteran” who will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Kerry and McLame! Just because you serve in the military does not make you brave, nor patriotic, leftists usually serve for the “freebies” – like being called a veteran, free college, and if they ass-kiss well enough they will easily climb the political ladder.

      As I have said over and over, our military is and always has been overrun by the leftist officer corps. These officers do not serve our country, they are on a mission to serve themselves and their leftist/communist views of dominance and control over the populace.

      What I would like to see is one of these a guy like Steven Crowder (Louder with Crowder), or Mark Dice, confront this moron and ask him what the second amendment means? His answer will easily tell you how he stands!

      I still fail to understand how a nation that is founded on conservatism, with a Constitution that established the beliefs and law of this nation, can allow leftists to even run for or hold a political office. Why do we (conservatives) sit back and think we can vote them away?

  1. I am sure no Democrat would ever stoop to making sure he got the answers he wanted the camera to hear or the outcome he wanted by scripting the whole deal ahead of time.

    Nope, they never would do that, just like Katie Couric would never stab gun owners in the back by editing the video to make them look clueless.

    Do I really need a /sarc on this one?

    • They’re not “stooping” to that level – they’re rising to it.
      Don’t worry, they’ll become worse.

      • It’s about to get “spooky” in the midterms. Of the 102 primary elections to choose the Democratic nominees in competitive districts, 44 involve candidates with CIA, military-intelligence or State Department background, with 11 districts having two such candidates, and one district having three.

  2. I love the proximity phenomenon. Drunk dude hits a pole. Ho-hum. Drunk dude hits a pole within blocks of a school. LOCK DOWN! Parents backing up traffic for miles. Mothers collapsing into sobbing heaps shouting “my baby! my baby!”

    Or when neighbors of a murder victim cringe that it happened “just next door.” There is no statistically significant difference to your likelihood of being murdered whether the most recent murder occurred 2,000 miles away or 2 doors down. But those feelz. It just feelz so much more. Oh, those feelz.

    WTF is wrong with people? Re-open the asylums because clearly these ass clowns aren’t making it in the real world.

    • This is one of those things that came along with the Right’s beloved War on Drugs. Zones that extend well beyond that actual premises (IIRC the original “limits” were 1000 yards, or .568 miles, from the edge of the school property) .

      If you recall a bunch of this stuff had to be reworked because there were tons of places throughout the country where under the original rules it was illegal to possess a weapon on your property due to the GFZ rules for schools. There were even more places where travel was difficult or impossible because the GFZ for various schools overlapped in ways that basically covered whole towns/cities making them GFZ’s because you were within a set distance from a school at all times.

      Of course it all seemed totally “reasonable” at the time because there were schools areas and quite obviously should be drug and weapons free!

      • There were even more places where travel was difficult or impossible because the GFZ for various schools overlapped in ways that basically covered whole towns/cities making them GFZ’s because you were within a set distance from a school at all times.

        And what makes you think that was anything but intentional strych9???

  3. See that BSM ribbon ABOVE the American flag on his lapel?
    That right there, that’s everything you need to know about this asshole.

    • He values his award more than the nation?

      That does say a lot.

      Isn’t the expression: he needs to “un-fuck himself?”

      • Nailed it.
        For further proof, take a look at his commercial where he walks around a bar with a t-shirt with the American flag and the word “veteran” in bold on top of it.

        • Yeah, but the free drinks probably keep his conscience (if he has one) in check after a while…

        • The ribbon thing is pretty bad. What’s more telling to me though, is that THIS MF IS


          in that (he’s either stupid or waaaaay distracted) but he doesn’t even have any military people as friends or staff that can help him with stuff like this.

          It’s like he needs a protocol droid to (adequately) play ARMY.

          C3-PO to drone commander, come in. . .

    • Mr. Helmer needs to be reminded of the oath he took when he signed up for military service. Also needs to read the one he will have to take if elected. The first and the possible second oaths will demonstrate him to be a traitor to our country and constitution. This makes him unfit for public service in any capacity.

    • That ribbon on his suit is not a BSM (Bronze Star Medal), nor is it one of the other two medals he’s listed as having earned in the Army, the DMSM or the JSCM. According to the Army Times, “His awards include the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal,” but the ribbon he’s wearing doesn’t match any of those!

      As others said, having served in the Army doesn’t make someone an expert on civilian guns, and it certainly doesn’t make a politician tell the truth about civilian guns such as the AR-15. Some Army officers (including a certain liberal, anti-gun General) retire from the Army and then make the ridiculous claim to the MSM that an AR-15 chambered in 5.56 (.223) is as powerful as (or even “more powerful than”) a deer rifle, LOL, either because they’re liars, or because they know nothing about guns. I heard this anti-gun General say, “I’ve seen what this rifle can do to the human body on the battlefield,” which may be true, but he’s ignoring (purposely, to deceive the public, unless this General is a moron) the fact that the .223 round is a low-powered rifle round, and any deer rifle (even the 19th-century 30-30 or the low-recoil .243, which is considered the BARE MINIMUM for deer hunting!) is much more powerful and will do far more damage to the human body than an AR-15 firing .223.

      • Unless “For Valor” the Bronze star has become a “thanks for coming and doing a little bit better than average”. So BFD. More telling is that his (piss poor) website does not mention his MOS. Therefore my assumption is he was a REMF/overhead.

        The Army today has to take pretty much any useless POS that will show up so you get a slice of Progs looking for college tuition $. And thanks to Barry’s bunch also have to take the queers and trannies.

        • Oh, that largely depends on rank. I have seen a major get a bronze star medal for, and I shit you not, “support of combat missions”. He never left the fob.
          I’ve also seen an E4 do some shit that would put him in the running for the MoH get a BSM, without a V device.
          This guy is a West Pointer captain, who taught at a TRADOC academy. I’m surprised they didn’t give him the Silver Star for wiping his ass.

        • “. . . while in a war zone, faithfully and forthrightly applied coarse tissues to his tender anal orifice, in a military manner, thus ensuring his continued ability to perform his duties by eliminating the possibility that untoward bodily odors might attract incoming fire, with no regard for his own personal safety.”
          THAT should have been worth an MOH, all by itself. And a Purple Heart.

      • Oh stop with the technobabble. Smaller rounds are lighter rounds so you can carry more. There is less recoil so you can shoot faster. The 5.56 is a great compromise between volume of fire and power of the round, thus it is a very good choice for a mass killing. It even a better round when people are shooting back at you within 300 yards.

        Now for deer hunting, 5.56 is not idea. You don’t ‘need” 30 rounds to kill a dear; you are tying to do it with one. As for killing one or two people, the .308 or .30-06 is a much better choice. Never understood why the D.C. sniper went with a AR-15.

        • “It even a better round when people are shooting back at you within 300 yards.”
          This is kind of off topic, but I could not disagree with you more. When I shoot someone, I like them to stop shooting at me right away. The 556NATO round, at least not m855, is not particularly good at that.

        • Confirming it is a BSM. As recipient of the BSM, I cannot imagine ever wearing it above an American flag lapel pin. In fact, I can never imagine capitalizing on my combat awards to influence anyone to think I deserve their respect, support and most of all, their votes.

  4. So that video is heavily edited but I’d like to know from some folks in Virginia how this is “possible” without a background check? Is this a private sale or is the sale coming from a licensed dealer?

    I’m thinking perhaps Virginia has a law that says your CCW is your background check and that they edited that part out? I mean, either there’s a law that makes this legal by making something else his BCG, it’s a private sale or he just released all the evidence they need to lock his ass up for an illegal transfer… right?

        • The seller checked ID and wrote up a bill of sale. All lawful commerce. This fellow’s probably also against kids selling lemonade.

        • The VA State Police are at all gun shows in VA (State Law) and provide backgrounds checks for private sales. This guy is an even bigger tool because a background check was available and he declined it.

    • I have a CCW and live in Va, the concealed permit does not allow you to get out of a background ✔ . The only ways this guy walked out of a gun show without one is if it was a private sale or if it was an illegal sale.

  5. Just because you’re a veteran doesn’t somehow magically give you more knowledge on guns or crime in America then anyone. This dude is a disgrace. It’s just like saying, well I’m black so I know the hood yo. Or, I’m jewish so I know the numbers yo.

  6. Just because someone is a veteran; it doesnt mean they wont take away your rights and freedoms.. Especislly if they are a Democrat; if its a (D), I guarantee they will be trying to take your shit… Money, rights, freedoms, doesnt matter; Democrats will try and steal it from you… They can’t help themselves; its the values they were raised with….

  7. Gee, a West Point grad and officer who hates his country? It looks like Spenser Rapone (the “Communism Will Win” West Point grad) has a soulmate.

    Helmer will fit in beautifully with the Michael Hayden – John O. Brennan axis of evil.

  8. He looks like the manatee in the Geico commercial that is wearing the “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt… he is definitely not a “Come at me Bro” kind of guy….

  9. The only issue I take with this stunt is the assertion that weapons of war don’t belong in private hands; YES, THEY DO. That is the purpose of the Second Amendment. When are we People of the Gun going to stop trying to argue that ARs aren’t meant to be slicked-up, modern, efficient killing machines? They are, that’s what they’re for, AND IT’S MY RIGHT TO OWN ONE FOR ANY LAWFUL PURPOSE INCLUDING SELF PRESERVATION/DEFENSE FROM A TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT.

    Telling people that AR-style rifles should be legal because they’re useful for hunting or for weekend sport shooting lends credence to the argument that the Second Amendment only protects your right to hunt or shoot for fun.

    It’s disingenuous to say AR-style rifles aren’t intended to be similar to the true fully-automatic assault rifles that are used by the military. When 95+% of the parts can be swapped between the two platforms, they are effectively the same thing. And BOTH are (supposed to be) protected from infringement by Amendment Numero Dos.

    Enough already…

    • There’s more than a little merit to your argument. Unfortunately, we’re in a culture war, and in war truth is the first casualty. That makes the tactics of debate very challenging.

    • In taking issue with his assertion that “weapons of war” don’t belong in private hands, you have fallen for his lie. The AR is NOT a “weapon of war.”
      He and his ilk like to say that because it scares the rubes. (And, unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans are uneducated rubes.)
      In saying that the AR is functionally the same as his issued M4, he lies again. He knows differently. I can say that definitively, because he’s studied the issue. He knows which lies to spread, and how to do it effectively (only two miles from a school? So what? Does having a gun, or selling guns, that close to a school actually threaten anyone?).
      No, he lies. Knowingly.
      And we shoud point it out often.

  10. “Buying without a background check” means a lawful possessor gets to dispose of his personal property as he sees fit. If someone can’t do this than the government is infringing on that person’s rights as well as a great deal of your ability to lawfully obtain one. The ONLY reason a government would do that is because it hates you and doesn’t trust you and it cannot do tyranny if you can do self-defense.

    If you are asking to purchase a firearm and I don’t know you, I will likely not sell it to you if you make my spidey-sense sound an alarm, but either way, the “lawful possessor” question is going to figure prominently in our sales conversation.

    Anyway, this dude’s a nefarious douche gun-buyer, no more AR’s for him.

  11. I like people like Dan Helmer. They make it very easy to “figure out” who we should never trust and support. They sign their own name in the column of “Who is against the people?” I appreciate all the time they save us. It’s like when your local schizophrenic is upfront and honest at the right time.

  12. Of course, Helmer actually has no qualms at all about himself or his politically-aligned cronies being able to buy all the “assault weapons” they want – and in fact, even it he managed to get his coveted ban legislation passed, there were still be carve outs for him and his ilk. It’s us deplorables that aren’t supposed to be able to buy weapons.

  13. “all hicks”

    Which other ethnic slurs do you use? Would you use “prohibited” words for blacks, Jews, or Mexicans? Or are you just a hypocrite who insults rural white people?

    • The term “hick” was accompanied by “crazy gun people” and “amirite”. He was projecting how the subject of the article sees us, not insulting those of us who live in the sticks, like guns and wear baseball hats. Settle down, Francis.

      • I”m not just sure that ‘hick’ is an ethnic slur. . . Since when did ‘hick’ become an ethnicity? Do they have a museum, now? Is there a support group? Does the census form now have a block for ‘hick’?

        • I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. A lot of people in the hills (every where) could be described as hicks. It has nothing to do with race or ethnicity, it has more to do with education and lack of exposure to the outside world. I know cause I was one.

          Many years of education and much exposure to the wide world sometimes makes me wish I was back there deep in the hills.

  14. I used to live where this tool bag is currently running for office. I voted for Comstock, and didn’t vote for Shilary. This guy is a disingenuous asshole in the extreme.

  15. He is not too bright. Just staged it all. He purchased it from an individual and not a dealer looks like. I wonder why he did not try this in another state or try to buy a pistol in another state at a gun show to test it by purchasing from a dealer and an individual. It is legal to buy a rifle at a gun show as long as your state does not have those stupid waiting periods or permit cards to purchase firearms like Illinois. Pistols can only be purchased in your home state at a gun show because of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

    According to the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA or GCA68), The Gun Control Act mandated the licensing of individuals and companies engaged in the business of selling firearms. This provision effectively prohibited the direct mail order of firearms (except antique firearms) by consumers and mandated that anyone who wants to buy a gun in an interstate transaction from a source other than a private individual must do so through a federally licensed firearms dealer. The Act also banned unlicensed individuals from acquiring handguns outside their state of residence. The interstate purchase of long guns (rifles and shotguns) was not impeded by the Act so long as the seller is federally licensed and such a sale is allowed by both the state of purchase and the state of residence. Private sales between unlicensed individuals who are residents of the same state are allowed under federal law so long as such transfers do not violate the other existing federal and state laws. While current law mandates that a background check be performed if the seller has a federal firearms license, private parties living in the same state are not required to perform such checks under federal law ( if you don’t live in Illinois). A person who does not have a Federal Firearms License may not be in the business of buying or selling firearms. Individuals buying and selling firearms without a federal license must be doing so from their own personal collection.


  16. I must be missing something…. a citizen bought something that is perfectly legal to buy in a place where it is perfectly legal buy it but somehow this is a problem?

    And what does something being down the road a bit have to do with any of it?

  17. W/I 2 miles of school just to verify something I was thinking I drew a circle at a 2-mile radius around every school in my county. It would be impossible not to be w/i 2 miles of a school here. That includes no less than 10 places that sell firearms. This may the next leftest push on gun control.

  18. My recommendation? If TTAG’ers want this guy and his kind to be defeated, kick a couple of buck toward Barbara Comstock.

  19. So, he either didn’t know the difference between Ar15 and M4 (unlikely) or he knew and lied about it, or he bought real McCoy FA rifle without paperwork and $200 tax (very unlikely).

    Vote for Helmer if you want to be represented by an idiot, liar or felon!

  20. how many dumbasses came home from lexington and concord or bunker hill or tippecanoe or bull run or lexington or belleau wood or wake island or tarawa or the chosin reservoir or hue or khe sanh or takur ghar or tora bora and then proceeded to advocate for “weapons of war” to be confiscated from law abiding citizens

    zero-because dumbasses of this type and character are a relatively new thing

    its a new breed of fighting man were observing now that forgets that whole thing about how he swore a solemn oath to defend THE CONSTITUTION against ALL enemies foreign AND domestic

    he instead now whores out his integrity dignity and sacred honor to the cause that would indeed destroy THE VERY THING HE CHOSE TO RISK HIS OWN LIFE TO DEFEND

    a very strange animal indeed

    it absolutely falls under the definition of pathological

    • I venture to say he is not as dumb as we might like to think.

      It is more likely a planned assault by the left. One of their own takes time and effort to go through West Point and be deployed to build the resume with the full intent of running for office and pushing the “progressive” agenda.

      It has happened twice here, a registered “republican” runs conservative, wins and promptly supports every left wing agenda item.

      This guy has come out early so we know what he is. Support the opponent, assuming they are not a RINO.

  21. Can we stop trying to pretend AR-15’s aren’t good for killing? They are pretty phenomenal at killing. GOOD! They’re fantastic at killing people! That’s why I have one. I wan’t to be more skilled and capable of killing than anyone else on earth. That’s the damned point of amendment #2. If you don’t like it, put your tampons back in your purse and move to England.

  22. Nitpicking fine details between an M4 and AR15 are a waste of breath.

    You might as well be trying to explain to someone who doesn’t like coffee how Dunkin Donuts is completely different than Starbucks.

    They just glaze over and say “coffee is coffee”

    This is just ONE of the things that needs covered in why Pro gun people are slipping in the battle against anti gun.

    They throw out the “save the children” line, you combat it with ” well technically the M4 version has a more mil spec standard trigger system that gets a double micrometer check for tolerance than the civilian version” blah blah blah.

    Where do you think voters who are on the fence are going to sway?!?

    He bought an AR near a school with no background check.

    The appropriate comeback would have been.

    “he didn’t shoot up the school though did he?!?, no, and why? because hes not a psychopath!”

    • Are you serious? You think the difference between an AR and an M4 is the feel of the trigger?
      You miss the biggest difference: the M4 is a select-fire gun, while the AR is semi-auto only.
      No wonder we seem to be losing. People like you have no idea what you’re talking about.
      I don’t see anyone but you claiming the only difference between the wanna-be politician’s claim that the AR is functionally identical to his issued M4 is the “mill-spec” quality of the trigger.

      • No dummy, I am saying the average ANTI gun person does not care about the fine details, as long as the majority of the firearm even resembles the M4, to them it might as well BE the same.
        I know far more about AR’s than one should as I work with nearly all of the manufacturers of the parts, so I know all about the details.
        Big picture people, big picture.

  23. An AR15 *is* functionally, mechanically, and practically similar to an M4, especially the kind typically used in combat (i.e. semi-auto position). It’s about time gun rights advocates realize this & demand normalizing of select fire, before the anti’s successfully convince gun-banner judges of the same and ban all of them.

    I’m guessing this fool could buy alcohol or smut even easier, even closer to school. Same as with guns, the students would have a hard time doing the same due to law abiding store owners and age restrictions. Was this stunt supposed to prove something?

    • You are confusing similarity in use with similarity in function.
      You can drive a Hellcat like a Vega (or, to keep it to cars sold simultaneously, like a Corolla) They are not functionally identical. Especially in their intended use.
      You can use an M4 like an AR, but they are NOT functionally identical. Nor are they intended to be used the same, even if they are used the same.

      • Again man, its not that WE don’t know there is a difference, its the point that the difference is null to the people you are explaining it to.

        To use your example, it would be like someone trying to ban the Dodge Challenger because the Hellcat is too dangerous to own, but V6 Challengers are nowhere near the power of the Hellcat. But trying to explain to someone who knows nothing about cars the difference between them is null and void, even though there is quite a bit.
        WHAT THEY SEE IS the hellcat, is a CHALLENGER, the v6 is a CHALLENGER, therefore, they must both be dangerous cars.

        Holy crap on a cracker, do you get it now?!
        Time to wake up buddy!

        • Maybe part of the problem, then, is that too many people were absent during the school lessons on communicating effectively.
          If you read Barn’s post for what it says, instead of what it could be saying, you’ll see his use of declarative sentences :
          An AR15 *is* functionally, mechanically, and practically similar to an M4, especially the kind typically used in combat (i.e. semi-auto position). It’s about time gun rights advocates realize this & demand normalizing of select fire, before the anti’s successfully convince gun-banner judges of the same and ban all of them.
          I see him saying something as true, not as an illustration of something a pro-gun person is saying that’s wrong. It’s presented as fact, not as an illustration of an incorrect argument.
          I seem to remember seeing you doing the same thing, and defending it.
          I am sure you and Barn know exactly what you want to say, but in saying it, something gets lost. When doing that while trying to teach a hoplophobe, it’s not good.

  24. Could it be that he deliberately omitted the fact that he bought the AR-15 from someone who is NOT a firearms dealer but instead a private seller who is not in the business of selling firearms? Could it be that he deliberately did it at a gun show and made sure that the background of the video showed legitimate firearms dealers plying their trade? Having bought a rifle at a gun show in Chantilly (which I suspect was the one displayed in the video), I can attest to the fact that a Form 4473 was filled out and the NICS check duly completed before the transaction was completed. While I consider it to have been carelessness bordering on recklessness for the seller not to have the State Troopers there for that very purpose to conduct a NICS check when selling a firearm to a total stranger, there’s no legal requirement that he do so. A “gun show loophole”? It’s no more a “loophole” than to sell a firearm with a newspaper ad.


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