Republican Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase came under fire this week after running a campaign ad that groups working for gun control said targeted them with potential violence, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The ad shows Chase holding a pistol at a firing range beneath a message from the senator that originally said, “I’m not afraid to shoot down gun groups.”
The Facebook ad also urges supporters to sign her “petition” to protect their guns.
Heads up gun groups. Amanda Chase is not afraid to shoot you down. 📸: Traci Franssen pic.twitter.com/wYOvTrmJWp
— Brandon Jarvis (@Jaaavis) September 20, 2019
Amanda Pohl, Chase’s Democratic challenger in this November’s election, responded to the threat on Friday with a Facebook post of her own.
“This kind of rhetoric and threats towards those you disagree with from my opponent is disturbing,” Pohl wrote. “I’m ready to listen to everyone in our community and work for real solutions to the challenges we face.”
Chase’s campaign blamed the ad on a “communications oversight” and revised the Facebook campaign on Friday.
Campaign manager Philip Search said the third-party media team that produced the ad used an incorrect statement.
In the new statement, Chase says, “I’m not afraid to shoot down attacks from any anti-gun groups, because gun rights are women’s rights.”
“That is the original ad,” Search said.
Pohl said the revised language didn’t go far enough and called on Chase to apologize to gun control groups that felt targeted.
“Mistake or not, it’s still violent rhetoric that has to be addressed,” Pohl said.
Lori Haas, Virginia director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, took the original statement personally.
“When Senator Chase says she’ll ‘shoot down gun groups,’ she’s talking about me,” said Haas, whose daughter Emily was wounded in the shooting that killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in 2007.
“While Senator Chase might not agree with me and other activists who want to prevent gun violence in our communities, she at the very least needs to listen to our concerns and not take out campaign ads threatening to shoot us,” she said as part of a news release from Progress Virginia that called on Chase to drop out of the race.
This is not the first time Chase has demonstrated questionable behavior. Earlier this year, she berated a law enforcement officer for not allowing her to illegally park in a reserved spot, accused the capitol police of being “Democrat operatives,” and reportedly mocked the clerk of the Senate (who has a reserved spot) as “Miss Piggy.”
Chase, a fervent opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, has previously called her revolver her “little Equal Rights Amendment, because it is empowering to women.”