By: Robert Davis

An Oklahoma Democrat, apparently frustrated by the anti-gun image projected by his party, challenged his Republican opponent to a shooting competition to prove he’s pro-gun.

“I’m sick and tired of being told as a conservative Democrat I can’t be pro-life or pro-Second Amendment,” Democrat Tom Stites said. “I think that if you talk guns, you had better be ready to back it up. So let’s go shoot it out on targets and see who wins.”

Stites is running against Republican Jim Olsen for House District 2, said he thinks Olsen is “just using the Second Amendment for politics.”

Olsen responded to Stites’ challenge by saying, “We are not running to be the sniper of Sequoyah County, but we are running for state representative. I may not hit a bull’s-eye every time with a gun, but when it comes to defending our Second Amendment rights, I am always dead center and that is why the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association has endorsed me.”

This instance is, of course, not the first time in American political history that two candidates for office challenged each other to a shooting match.

Alexander Hamilton and his political rival Aaron Burr dueled in 1804 after Hamilton was accused of interfering in Burr’s run for president and his bid for governor of New York. Burr fatally wounded Hamilton and escaped unharmed. Hamilton died the following day.

In 2002, former governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue, now President Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, challenged incumbent Democratic governor Roy Barnes to a skeet shooting match for the NRA’s endorsement. Perdue won the race, but the shooting competition never occurred.

Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee likewise challenged Barack Obama in 2013 to a skeet shooting match to contest his claims that he partook in the sport. Blackburn never got her chance to compete against the president.

Robert Davis is a general assignment reporter for Gunpowder Magazine. You can reach him with tips or comments at