An Alabama congressman used audio of the shooting that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise and four others last month in campaign ad released this week.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks premiered the 30-second commercial on his YouTube channel Monday — with plans to release it on television — in which he reaffirms his support for the Second Amendment during an interview in the moments after the June 14 shooting.
“The Second Amendment, the Right To Bear Arms helps ensure that we always have a Republic,” he says in the video. “So, no, I’m not changing my position on the rights that we enjoy as Americans.”
Text appears on the screen criticizing the “liberal media” for focusing on gun control rather than the shooting.
Brooks is running for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat. Critics immediately panned the ad as inappropriate and distasteful, though Brooks — who used his belt as a tourniquet to help stabilize the victims on the field that day — isn’t deterred.
“The truth is always appropriate,” he told NBC News. “It’s one thing to talk about defense of the Second Amendment, it’s another thing to have lived through an assassination attempt and to reaffirm your commitment to the Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
Scalise, the third ranking House Republican, remains hospitalized in fair condition as he recovers from a gunshot wound to the hip sustained when a disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire on GOP congressman and staffers practicing baseball at a park in Alexandria, Virginia June 14.
The gunman, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, died after a shootout with Scalise’s security detail and Alexandria law enforcement.