An Oklahoma Democrat running for a seat in the Oklahoma House has officially thrown down the gauntlet: Instead of challenging his Republican opponent to a debate, he's requested a shooting competition.
What's going on?
Tom Stites, a Democrat running for Oklahoma House District 2, has challenged Republican Jim Olsen to a shooting competition,
According to the Tulsa World, Stites doubts that Olsen "is a real gun guy," claiming that Olsen is posturing himself as pro-firearm only because it is politically advantageous. The only solution to the problem, Stites believes, is for each candidate to show potential constituents their firearm proficiency.
"I believe it's important for the voters of this county to know which of us is the real deal and which of us truly understands the awesome power of firearms, how to safely handle them, how to teach about them, and how to be a leader on this sacred constitutional right," Stites explained in a video posted to his Facebook page.
Stites also proposed each candidate use the competition to raise money for charity. If Stites won the competition, he pledged to donate money to Oklahomans for Life, a pro-life advocacy organization.
"Let's let the gun owners of Sequoyah County see who is the most skilled, knowledgeable, and best choice to represent them on the Second Amendment," Stites said. "It's extremely rare when voters can have a real way to judge a candidate's competency on a given subject. Let's do it for them."
According to Stites' campaign website, he is a "strong supporter" of the Second Amendment and a member of the National Rifle Association who "is an accomplished competitive shooter and a graduate of two different long range sniper schools."
"I’m sick and tired of being told as a conservative Democrat I can’t be pro-life or pro-Second Amendment. I think that if you talk guns, you had better be ready to back it up. So let’s go shoot it out on targets and see who wins," Stites told the Tulsa World.
He added that Olsen has yet to respond to his challenge.
What did Olsen say?
The Republican politician told the Tulsa World there is no reason for him to participate in a shooting competition.
"We are not running to be the sniper of Sequoyah County, but we are running for state representative,” Olsen said.
"I may not hit a bull’s-eye every time with a gun, but when it comes to defending our Second Amendment rights, I am always dead center and that is why the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association has endorsed me," he explained.
Stites and Olsen are running for the vacant seat that became open after Rep. John Bennett decided not to seek another term.