A political strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee seems to have forgotten his own gun safety rules, less than two months after publicly shaming Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Kentucky, for shooting without eye and ear protection.
Back in November, Grimes invited her likely opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), to join her at the shooting range, and tweeted a picture of herself aiming a gun. Several Republicans, including NRSC strategist Brad Dayspring, immediately criticized Grimes for her lack of safety gear and called the photo a "ridiculous unforced error."
"No eyes & ears? Poor gun safety display. Yikes!" Dayspring tweeted.
— Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring) November 8, 2013
Republican strategist Rick Wilson also publicly mocked Grimes for the photo. "Even with that little 10/22, you're going to want eye and ear protection," he tweeted, referring to the size of her gun. "Your DC campaign people probs don't know that."
According to the National Rifle Association's gun safety rules, "shooting glasses and hearing protectors" are recommended for shooters and spectators because guns can cause hearing damage and emit debris and hot gas.
But a month and a half later, on Dec. 31, Dayspring posted a similar picture of himself shooting a gun in Virginia without any eye protection.
— Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring) December 31, 2013
Reached for comment about the photo, Dayspring responded in an email that although he was wearing earplugs when the photo was taken, he had indeed failed to wear eye protection.
"I am wearing ear protection, and both Alison Lundergan Grimes and I should have been wearing eyes," he told HuffPost. "Everyone should wear protection when shooting, especially elected officials and public figures who serve as examples for the greater public. Hopefully Alison Lundergan Grimes can admit and acknowledge the same."
Grimes' campaign had no comment. A spokesperson for EMILY's List, a progressive women's group supporting Grimes' candidacy, said Republicans are focusing on Grimes' shooting safety because they can't find anything more substantive to criticize her about.
"I understand Republicans are embarrassed at having so little to work with when supporting the leader of their party," said Jess McIntosh. "That's gotta be tough for everyone over there."