Guns, Tucson shooting raise ire in Iron Range special election


A special election to replace former House Majority Leader Tony Sertich in Chisholm has reignited the debate over civility in politics following the Tucson shooting that injured Rep. Gabriele Giffords. The Republican Party of Minnesota released a mailer targeting DFLer Carly Melin that features a hunter taking aim and the words “Take your best shot.” It also states that Melin’s campaign is “full of holes.” Iron Range Democrats sasy it comes too close to overheated rhetoric, while GOP chair Tony Sutton argues it’s simply a mailer about hunting and Second Amendment rights.

The ad is in support of Republican candidate Paul Jacobson, who’ll face off with Melin during the special election on Feb. 15. Melin called for GOP chair Tony Sutton to resign.

“After the President and leaders of Congress called on Americans to tone down the attacks, stop the malicious assaults, and come together to heal our country after the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the death of six people in Tuscon, I would have thought that Republican Leader Tony Sutton would have had an ounce of decency and common sense,” Melin said in a statement. “He should resign.”

Sutton told the Duluth News Tribune, “This is about sporting issues and Second Amendment issues. To link this to Gabby Giffords is the worst kind of politics.”

In addition to her concerns over the mailer’s tone, Melin takes issue with its claim that she’s not in support of Second Amendment rights.

“As someone who hunts and has a firearms certificate since I was 14 – and whose Dad teaches firearms classes – it is outrageous to question my stance on gun ownership,” she said.

Here’s the mailer: