His answer to a question about the Second Amendment on the day of the shooting really was good, and I gave him credit for it at the time. If he wants to use that in an ad to help his career along, have at it. It shows he sticks to principle even under the most trying circumstances.

Leveraging the audio of Scalise and others getting shot to “spice up” the ad and grab the viewer’s attention, though? Bleh. Scalise’s guys don’t like it either.

Horton is Scalise’s chief of staff, which I assume all but guarantees that this ad will end up being yanked or re-edited. If you’re curious why Brooks’s campaign would do such a thing, read this. He’s locked in a rare three-way Senate primary in Alabama involving three big names. One is incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was named to replace Jeff Sessions after Sessions became AG. Another is Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and a man who became famous nationally years ago when he refused a federal court’s order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from public areas of the state supreme court building’s grounds. The third is Brooks himself, a congressman and conservative stalwart but a man at a name-recognition disadvantage compared to his opponents — until the Scalise shooting.

He was interviewed by multiple media outlets in the shooting’s immediate aftermath. Pictures of a distraught and emotional Brooks were published nationally.

He was spoken about in rather heroic terms for providing his belt as a tourniquet to help one of the injured. Brooks was also among those to immediately attend to the fallen Steve Scalise, the U.S. House Majority Whip from Louisiana who suffered the most severe injuries in the assault. Days later, Brooks’ name would appear on the shooter’s assassination list…

“You don’t have a better introduction to Alabama voters than being a conservative Alabama Republican who was shot at by a Bernie Sanders supporter,” said Steve Flowers, an author and political observer whose weekly column appears in over 60 newspapers in Alabama. “How better of an introduction can you get in a Republican primary?”

His conduct during and after the shooting may be the thing he’s best known for in Alabama outside his own district. Go figure that he’d reference the shooting, a sort of calling card for him now, in an ad — gunshots at all. According to a poll taken a few weeks ago, Moore leads the race at 31 percent with Strange second at 23 percent, but Brooks was suddenly right behind the incumbent at 21 percent. He’s got a real chance at the runoff. I wonder if this will do more to hurt or help.