Meet Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Georgia.
Congressman Barrow is a responsible gun-owner and card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. He's also received campaign donations from the NRA for his support of the Second Amendment and used their endorsement in a television campaign ad last fall.
But by slicing up the ad with some selective editing and inserting dramatic news footage, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has tried to irrevocably link Rep. Barrow to the Sandy Hook massacre. "Shame on you," the group scolds in a new ad.
The AJC's Jim Galloway explains a bit about the significance of CSGV's selective editing...
Here’s the problem: The CSGV has done some selective editing in its video. In its version of the ad, Barrow displays a pistol and says:
“Long before I was born, my grandfather used this little Smith & Wesson here….”
It cuts the Augusta congressman off there. How did Barrow finish the sentence in the original, and what did the CSGV choose to omit? This:
”…to help stop a lynching.”
Around here, those five additional words make a big difference.
Those five words would make a big difference anywhere... except at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, that is. The fact that a gun was used to save lives is irrelevant in their minds; what matters to them is that it's a gun and guns are bad.
The CSGV also coincidentally edited out the point where Barrow recalls his father keeping his rifle handy... TO PROTECT HIS FAMILY.
The message of this ad is despicable and dangerous. First of all, it doesn't matter which side of the gun control debate you're on -- using the children of Sandy Hook as a political prop is just wrong. Further, the implication of the ad is that gun owners -- specifically those associated with the NRA -- are responsible for the senseless acts of others.
How exactly does demonizing people who lawfully exercise their First and Second Amendment rights "stop gun violence"?
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.