The Slatest

Georgia Secretary of State Points Gun Toward Teenager in Campaign Ad

"Jake" campaign ad
Kemp for Governor

In another instance of a political candidate wooing voters by demonstrating a totally normal and good-natured sense of humor, a Georgia gubernatorial candidate released a campaign video that makes himself look like a relatable dad figure who points guns at teenage boys.

“I’m Brian Kemp, this is Jake, a young man interested in one of my daughters,” Kemp, the candidate and Georgia’s current secretary of state, says while polishing a double-barrel shotgun on his lap in the middle of a room decked out with handguns, hunting rifles, and at least two AR-15–style weapons.

“Yes, sir,” Jake, a young man in khakis, responds.

“Jake asked why I was running for governor,” Kemp says. He prompts Jake to list off: to “cap government spending,” to “take a chainsaw to regulations,” and to “make Georgia No. 1 for small business.”

“And two things if you’re going to date one of my daughters?” Kemp then asks.

“Respect,” Jake answers. “And a healthy respect for the Second Amendment, sir.”

Kemp then cocks the gun up, apparently toward Jake, and then says, “We’re going to get along just fine.”

It’s charming and folksy to imagine, in 2018, a society in which fathers protect (read: treat as possessions) daughters as fragile creatures and teenage boys as defiling creatures who—with the right combination of Southern deference for authority and the awareness they could be killed—can be persuaded to abandon their base instincts. But it was Kemp’s way of handling his firearm so recklessly that made people angry.

It’s not even the first time in this race, though, that a candidate has demonstrated his comfort with firearms as a way to convince voters of their trustworthiness and every-man qualifications. In a video released three weeks ago, titled, “Liberals Won’t Like This…” candidate Hunter Hill joined the likes of accused abuser and blackmailer Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and many other GOP candidates in focusing their time, energy, and campaign money in proving they can check off the essential conservative box of knowing how to fire a gun.

Kemp appears certain the video will help him out with conservative voters. Nothing says a welcoming environment for small businesses like threatening teenagers!