It's a common Republican scare tactic to claim that Democrats seeking common sense gun safety reform are on a secret mission to take all of Americans' guns.
But former Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA) just took that conspiracy theory a step further in a new campaign ad for his election to the open House of Representatives seat for Georgia's ninth district.
Watch the bizarre campaign ad below.
How to try to win election by stoking fear amid the COVID-19 crisis: Former Georgia Rep. Paul Broun who is runnin… https://t.co/nEUq0ogrRY— Marcus Baram (@Marcus Baram) 1586285404.0
Broun says in the ad:
"In uncertain times like these, the right to defend yourself, your property, or your family could not be more important. Whether it's looting hordes from Atlanta or a tyrannical government from Washington, there are few better liberty machines than an AR-15."
Broun's claim that AR-15's are needed to protect is an unmistakable racist dog whistle. Georgia's 9th district—which Broun hopes to represent—is nearly 90 percent white. Atlanta, on the other hand, is majority-Black.
Broun denied that he said anything about race in his campaign video—after all, they call it a "dog whistle" because it's harder for the untrained ear to hear the implications:
"Only the liberal press would take that kind of position. There are a lot of white people in Atlanta as well."
One is led to wonder if Broun would fight as militantly for the right of a Black person to walk around brandishing an AR-15 as cavalierly as he does in his campaign ad.
People didn't seem to think so.
Using your “liberty machine” to shoot “looting hordes from Atlanta” is gun extremist code for, “Use your AR-15 for… https://t.co/UqqxngStY7— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1586294500.0
Atlanta is more than 50% Black. Broun is running for Congress in a district that is 6% Black. The dogwhistle is… https://t.co/JY5hDpwyN8— Dan Desai Martin (@Dan Desai Martin) 1586289353.0
Atlanta is a vibrant center of Black culture and heritage, and anyone who’s lived in Georgia will understand that “… https://t.co/584UW6cKi9— If history is any indicator, we’re screwed (@If history is any indicator, we’re screwed) 1586294985.0
white oriole referring to us a “looting hordes” again. 60 years after the civil rights movement. if you are Black,… https://t.co/XOFFGAqAFv— bi maoist bandit (@bi maoist bandit) 1586294528.0
@mbaram @pinkrocktopus The only remotely good thing I've seen on Twitter today is that people in this thread know e… https://t.co/kkgRQQwDoC— Caethes Faron (@Caethes Faron) 1586290156.0
Astonishingly, Broun also advertised an AR-15 giveaway in the ad, saying:
"I'm just not feeling like giving up my guns to the government. And I've decided to give away an AR-15 to one lucky person who signs up for email updates from [his campaign website]."
The ad represented the worst of the Republican party, even to Republicans like lawyer and Trump critic George Conway.
This looks more like an outlandish left-wing parody of a GOP candidate ad ... but in fact it’s a real ad. https://t.co/u673oYaSsz— George Conway (@George Conway) 1586359838.0
Ladies. Why are all the good ones married, gay, or this guy...who is running for Congress in Georgia?Amirite? https://t.co/gt1G4Pdze1— Kathy Griffin (@Kathy Griffin) 1586373602.0
This video is perfect in a way - an old man waxing hysterical about hordes of looters and Marxist invaders. But a… https://t.co/wZ3XQYrotg— Myke Cole (@Myke Cole) 1586287447.0
Racism, paranoia, delusions of heroism, weapons of mass murder, this guy's got it all. https://t.co/iiZuQpdoqA— Charles Louis Richter (@Charles Louis Richter) 1586287791.0
Can he not?
For more information on racist dog whistles and how racism is still rampant in the modern era, check out Racism Without Racists, available here.