Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) defended Americans' right to bear arms Sunday amid a renewed Democratic push for gun control legislation, saying his house would be the last one a gang would come to due to his ownership of an AR-15.
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Following the atrocious mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, last week, Democrats — including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) — have revived a campaign for gun control legislation, specifically targeting so-called "assault weapons."
But while speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday, Graham dared Schumer to bring an assault weapons ban to the Senate floor, vowing it would fail.
"What's wrong with a serious debate after all of these shootings about assault weapons?" asked Wallace.
"There's nothing wrong [with] debate," Graham shot back. "In fact, I would challenge Sen. Schumer to bring the assault weapons ban to the floor of the United States Senate — it won't get 50 votes, much less 60."
"I own an AR-15," Graham continued. "If there's a natural disaster in South Carolina where the cops can't protect my neighborhood, my house will be the last one that the gang will come to, because I can defend myself."
Lindsey Graham owns an AR-15 because he fears natural disaster 'gangs' youtu.be
The Republican senator's remarks immediately sparked criticism from progressives on Twitter, as noted by the Huffington Post.
One commenter argued that Graham's pronouncement of lawful ownership of an AR-15 with intent to use it to protect himself and his family made him sound like "Rambo."
Another wrote, "Just to be clear, when Sen. Graham imagines a natural disaster, he fantasizes about slaughtering desperate people."
Still another mocked Graham, suggesting that he is "afraid of his own constituents."
The critics totally missed the point. They failed to recognize that Graham was saying he, like the vast majority of gun owners in America, possesses guns as a means to prevent violence, not to commit violence. Graham's argument, specifically, was not that he would shoot up his neighborhood, but rather that criminals wouldn't target his house because he is armed in self-defense.
On the other hand, Graham said he is more than willing to deal with what he characterized as the real issue at play in most mass shootings.
"Most of these problems have a lot to do with mental health. Count me in for addressing that issue," he said, adding, "Red flag laws exist in 19 states, there's some things we can do."