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GOP Senator's Misleading 'Mass Murder' Ad Pulled Off The Air After Highland Park Shooting

GOP Senator's Misleading 'Mass Murder' Ad Pulled Off The Air After Highland Park Shooting
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Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson was forced to pull a campaign ad downplaying gun violence following a mass shooting during an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois that claimed seven lives and resulted in more than 40 injuries.

The ad, part of Johnson's reelection campaign, suggested the "latest mass murder in America didn’t involve guns" before going on to refer to the recent deaths of dozens of migrants who died in sweltering heat during a smuggling attempt in Texas.

According to emails detailed by The Intercept, a vice president of sales at Katz Radio Group who helped create the ad requested it be “pulled ASAP” one day after the Highland Park shooting because it "talks about mass shootings, which obviously is not good creative after this past weekend (especially in Chicago).”

You can hear the ad for yourself below.

The news came shortly after the gunman who fired on the parade procession was officially charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

While their motive is still unclear, the investigation is ongoing and questions have arisen over why he was able to purchase guns despite his previous encounters with police, including one incident when officers seized knives from him after a relative reported he planned to "kill everyone."

Johnson was harshly criticized for running the ad and for using the deaths of innocent people for political capital.

Johnson has a long record of opposing gun control measures.

In 2013, Johnson sponsored a bill to prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from tracking and cataloging the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns.

That same year, he was one of 12 Republican Senators to sign a letter threatening to filibuster any newly introduced gun control legislation.

According to publicly available information from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence, Johnson has accepted $1,269,486 from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which routinely stymies efforts to address gun violence.