U.S.A. — “This political ad is badass,” Breitbart News Pentagon Correspondent Kristina Wong asserts in a Tuesday tweet. She includes the YouTube video Hung Cao Fights For Us by Retired Navy Captain Hung Cao of Virginia, who is running for the United States Senate with the goal of unseating Democrat Tim Kaine.
He has impressive credentials that show he is a uniquely American success story. A refugee from Vietnam who came over to the U.S. as a child with his parents, Cao “was commissioned as a Special Operations Officer (Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Deep-Sea Diving) from the United States Naval Academy, and served with special operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.”
The “badass ad” reflects that, with Cao pounding his fist and declaring:
“This is the scariest sound you will hear when you live in a communist country, the last sound my parents heard when their fathers were taken away in the middle of night and they never saw their loved ones again. That’s the sound of losing your freedom, the sound of always living in fear, that’s my family’s real-life story.”
It’s visceral, alright, and comments under Wong’s tweet reflect how impressed her followers are with Cao’s message and delivery. He shows he understands the concerns traditional Americans share about the insanely destructive direction the country is going under the Democrats, and he does it in a way that strikes a chord and offers hope.
He even gives a nod to gun owners, noting, “That’s Joe Biden’s IRS raiding a gun shop and seizing thousands of records from law-abiding gun owners, our names our addresses, our social security numbers…”
I say “even” because it’s more than Cao did last time he threw his hat in the political ring and ran for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District in 2022. Cao didn’t consider Second Amendment rights an important enough issue to mention it in his website’s “Policies” section aside from the briefest of mentions about guns. His version of “the security of a free State” appeared limited to “Back the Blue” and the standing army.
“The legendary Chuck Norris has endorsed Cao in an ad that includes his iconic Uzi-wielding Invasion USA image. What’s not for gun owners to be enthused about?” I asked at the time.
Here was the answer:
“Many Republicans, including Cao, have said now is not the time for political discussions in the wake of the tragedies. On a conservative radio show … Cao expressed dismay that he ‘got caught in a trap’ talking about gun control … and questioned, ‘Is it really the time to talk about gun control?’”
Listening to Vichycon political advisors cautioning him to play it safe didn’t help since he lost big time, and Democrat Jennifer Wexton, as doctrinaire a gun-grabber as ever plagued the Old Dominion, and who was not afraid to say so, kicked his “badass” big time.
But you can’t talk guns in Virginia and win, some will say. Tim Kaine doesn’t seem to think so. He’s out there bragging about “Preventing Gun Violence,” which, of course, citizen disarmament won’t do, by banning “silencers,” closing “loopholes,” banning “assault weapons” and more. You got it, he wants it.
What does Cao want? At least this time out he says something:
“The Constitution is clear regarding the Second Amendment. I will always protect the right to self-defense,” he declares.
Fine, but how? Everything that follows is non-specific and hardly unequivocal.
What gun laws does he consider unconstitutional? What gun laws does he consider constitutional?
Where does he stand on “red flag laws” and prior restraint/registration-enabling “background checks”?
What is he prepared to do about ATF effectively turning rules into laws? What are his thoughts on “ghost guns”? Bump stocks? Stabilizing braces? Forced reset triggers?
Should Congress be able to ban those if ATF can’t?
What about the Militia?
Does the right to bear arms include the right for any peaceable citizen to carry them openly or concealed without a permit? Does he believe that Americans have a right to own full-auto weapons? Does he agree with “enforce existing gun laws” or “repeal existing gun laws”? Does he support or oppose licensing requirements to own or carry firearms? Why? What specific gun laws will he work to get repealed? If elected, will he back his words of support for firearms rights up with consistent actions? How?
Is it time to talk about these yet?
But he can’t? Will it turn off suburban moms and “moderates”? He’ll be painted as an extremist and crucified in the media?
Who thinks that’s not what they’re going to do anyway?
How about for a change, we get a candidate who knows what he’s talking about and uses his bully pulpit to explain to the voters how they’re being lied to? How about using your leadership platform to educate? No, of course, it won’t change the minds of “progressive” cultists, but they aren’t going to vote for him anyway unless he comes out with full-throated support for a violence monopoly, puberty blockers, and drive-through abortion clinics. But some of the lied-to electorate can still be reasoned with, especially if they’re shown where their media-fed assumptions have been flat-out and deceptively wrong.
“The perfect is the enemy of the good,” some will sputter back, adding the meaningless platitude “Politics is the art of the possible.”
How timid advisors deathly afraid to push the envelope consider themselves competent authorities on just what is possible is left unsaid.
And while gun owners may resignedly vote lesser of two evils, that won’t be enough to light a fire in their bellies to where they’re willing to do those extra things besides voting that are needed to win an election: campaign donations, campaign volunteer work, evangelizing, and to offset the political apathy of a growing TINVOWOOT faction.
Yeah, it’s a badass ad, Mr. Cao. But you know, better than just about anyone: If you really want to stop communists from taking over here, you ultimately can’t do it without an armed citizenry. There is no way of voting your way out of that, and that whole “security of a free State” line wasn’t put in just to sound badass.
It’s time to take that personal courage you’ve applied throughout your military career and apply it to your campaign. And while it’s crucial to get the endorsement of the NRA over in Fairfax, if you need help with 2A arguments, there’s no one better to coach you than GOA, “the no-compromise gun lobby” over in Springfield.
Or, listen to the compromising, weasel-wording “moderates,” inspire no one who really gets what’s at stake, and lose again.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.