Oppose Violent Gun Imagery in Campaign Ads

Target: Candidate Jorge Robles

Goal: Retract and repudiate the campaign web-ad containing a firing machine gun. 

Jorge Robles (R-CA) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) are currently engaged in a political race for the 38th California Congressional district. As is normal for any political race, there are numerous political advertisements being run by the candidate in order to convince voters to support them. Unlike in most political ad campaigns, Jorge Robles’ campaign has created a highly controversial and dangerous advertisement.

In one of Candidate Robles’ campaign ads, he uses a combination of machine gun imagery and potentially violent wordings to direct his supporters. In this ad, a firing machine gun is used to demolish a wall, revealing Robles’s campaign message. The use of a gun in a campaign ad, particularly if there is no legitimate context for its inclusion (for example, discussing gun rights), is unwise, reckless, and can be taken as a call to violence. In addition to the violent gun imagery, the slogan “Take Linda Sanchez OUT” is used several times during the ad. While not inherently violent, the term “taking somebody out” often has a violent interpretation. When the slogan wording is combined with the gun imagery, this ad appears to be either particularly poorly thought out or intentionally aggressive.

Given the history of deranged individuals perpetrating political violence against those who are called out by politicians who they support, Robles’ political ad is extremely inappropriate; rational people will not see his ad as a call to violence, but irrational people likely will. Just last year, the Jared Loughner shooting gave the United States an example of the terrible results of violent rhetoric being fed to a deranged mind; we need to avoid such tragedies in the future, and the first step is to clean the political discourse of calls to violence.

Regardless of which party a politician belongs to, who they are as a person, or what policies they support, there is no excuse for a politician to utilize such reckless advertising strategies in the current political climate. Inciting violence is not acceptable and the American public should force our politicians to avoid any violent rhetoric. This petition is directed at Jorge Robles and is intended to compel him to publicly repudiate his advertisement’s violent imagery as well as make clear that nobody who supports him should take any action against Linda Sanchez.


Dear Candidate Jorge Robles,

Recently, your campaign released a web-ad containing images of a firing machine gun and a request to “take out” your opponent. This ad is absolutely unacceptable, as it may act as a call to violence against your opponent, and you must repudiate it.

Politically-motivated violence is an unfortunate reality in the United States. Just recently, Jared Loughner shot Rep. Gabby Giffords and numerous other people based upon his political views. Nobody is saying that your campaign ad will cause rational people to act violently, but there will always be irrational people who take your words literally and commit violence. In order to prevent irrational people from acting on political hyperbole, politicians must be careful what they say in public.

I, as well as everybody else to sign this petition implore you to publicly and unequivocally repudiate the campaign ad in question, as well as to give a statement that no supporter of yours should ever commit violence towards your opponent. This demand is not a matter of partisanship, merely one of ensuring the safety of politicians across the country – violent rhetoric is unacceptable no matter which letter precedes your name.


[Your Name Here]

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39 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Debbie Biere
  • Carole Mathews
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