President Trump is channeling his inner Charlton Heston in more than 100 recent Facebook advertisements, imploring his supporters to push back against Democratic dreams of overturning the Second Amendment.
“Democrats have been telling us that they only want ‘gun control.’ But the truth is finally out,” reads one Trump ad from last week. “Now some are now proudly calling for a REPEAL OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT.”
Another ad contends Democrats have “finally admitted” their desire to jettison the amendment, which grants “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The ads include a link to sign a petition on Trump’s website against the repeal of gun rights. “It’s up to the American people to stand strong and defend our freedoms.”
141 Trump ads have called out Democrats on the Second Amendment since the start of June, according to Facebook’s archive of political ads. Many of the individual ads have between 200,000 and 500,000 impressions, and cost more than $1,000 to run. Others cost less than $100 and have only between 1,000 and 5,000 impressions.
Trump’s ads echo comments he’s made earlier this year. The president called out former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in March after the judge wrote an op-ed for The New York Times arguing for the repeal of the Second Amendment. Stevens wrote the piece in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in Florida. “NO WAY,” tweeted Trump in reply.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Thirty-nine percent of Democrats support repealing the Second Amendment, according to a survey from The Economist earlier this year. Louisiana state senator Karen Carter Peterson tweeted Stevens’ op-ed with the caption “repeal the Second Amendment” in March, but prominent Democrats in office have been hesitant to call for an outright banning of gun ownership.
“It is unequivocally not the Democratic caucus’ position to repeal the Second Amendment,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told The New York Times.
President Trump has been ramping up his marketing on several issues beyond gun rights. Other recent ads have defended Immigration and Customs Enforcement and blasted the mainstream media. Trump is Facebook’s biggest spender on political ads, according to a recent New York University study.