Kris Kobach, a Republican Kansas gubernatorial hopeful, faced heavy criticism after traveling in a parade in a souped-up Jeep outfitted with a replica gun.
Kobach, who is also the Kansas secretary of state, shared photos of the "offending" Jeep on social media after a Saturday parade, which was held in Shawnee for its annual Old Shawnee Days celebration.
He wrote, "Had a blast riding in the Old Shawnee Days Parade in this souped up jeep with a replica gun. Those who want to restrict the right to keep and bear arms are deeply misguided. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. #ksleg #ksgov #TeamKobach."
Had a blast riding in the Old Shawnee Days Parade in this souped up jeep with a replica gun. Those who want to restrict the right to keep and bear arms are deeply misguided. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. #ksleg #ksgov #TeamKobach pic.twitter.com/ZULBEYTqUW
— Kris W. Kobach (@KrisKobach1787) June 2, 2018
On social media, many criticized Kobach's choice of transportation.
According to Fox News, Pastor Johnny Lewis of Shawnee Community Christian Church even penned a Facebook post decrying Kobach's decision to ride in such a vehicle.
The now-deleted post read, "Why was that necessary, sir? My child didn’t need that today. Don’t care what your position is on second amendment that is completely unnecessary."
"My greatest concern today was not Kris Kobach’s political position," Lewis told the Kansas City Star. "It was that in a world where our children ... live with anxiety about school shootings and do intruder drills regularly that any politician thought it was OK to drive through a crowd of children with an automatic weapon pointed at the crowd."
What happened then?
The city of Shawnee issued an apology Saturday, apologizing that Kobach had even attended the event.
The apology read:
We want to apologize for the concern and frustration involved with Mr. Kris Kobach's parade entry at the Old Shawnee Days parade on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
In no way does this or any parade entry or float directly reflect the views and values of the City, Old Shawnee Days Board or the Old Shawnee Days Society.
Again, we apologize and understand the concern this caused. We have reached out to Mr. Kobach's media contact in an effort to get answers.
Please know that the safety of our residents is always our highest priority and we apologize if this made anyone feel unsafe or unsettled. We will be taking steps in the future to try to ensure something similar does not happen again.
This statement is from the City of Shawnee, the Old Shawnee Days Board and the Old Shawnee Days Society.
Statement regarding the parade today. pic.twitter.com/FX1RBTcstE
— City of Shawnee, KS (@CityofShawneeKS) June 2, 2018
What did Kobach say in response?
Kobach was unmoved by the criticism and doubled down on his original remarks supporting the Second Amendment.
In a Sunday tweet, Kobach wrote, "The outrage over the replica gun on the back of a patriotic jeep is the left trying to attack guns and your #2A rights. I will not back down in the face of a snowflake meltdown and outrage culture."
The outrage over the replica gun on the back of a patriotic jeep is the left trying to attack guns and your #2A rights. I will not back down in the face of a snowflake meltdown and outrage culture. https://t.co/FONJBWZWMM #ksleg pic.twitter.com/TEtyFtQ7rT
— Kris W. Kobach (@KrisKobach1787) June 4, 2018
Kobach is running against Gov. Jeff Colyer, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer and former nominee Jim Barnett for the Republican nomination. The GOP primary is Aug. 7.