A former sheriff from Arizona who wholeheartedly believes “gun control in America is against the law” is running for Congress in Arizona. No, it’s not former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but Richard Mack. In an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Mack compared the teenage survivors of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida to Hitler. Just another day in Donald Trump’s America?
Here he is at CPAC proudly posing with former sheriff, David Clarke:
Look who I ran into at CPAC! pic.twitter.com/Qh5Jh6hW4T
— Sheriff Richard Mack (@MackSheriff) February 23, 2018
On his official website, he proudly displays a huge photo of NRA board member and musician, Ted Nugent, who says Mack is a “constitutional warrior.”
There’s also a video of the moment:
This right-wing extremist will be a candidate in next week’s Republican primary in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. He could be the one to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned after it was revealed that he offered $5 million to an aide to be a surrogate mother for his children. “She and another female employee worried that the lawmaker wanted to have sex as a means of impregnating them,” stated one report.
After a news release on President’s Day that he wanted to have an “adult conversation” about guns with the survivors from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Mack said this to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights nonprofit that classifies and combats hate and extremist groups:
“The talk that I’ve heard so far coming from either some of the students or from politicians or from the media is that gun control would make us safer,” Mack said. “And I already told you that if you compare that to some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin, you’ll see the exact same kind of language used — that gun control will make you safer,” said Mack.
That’s right. He went there.
Keep in mind that the SPLC included two groups that Mack belongs to as anti-government “patriot” groups. Those groups include the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association(CSPOA), which Mack founded, and Oath Keepers, a right-wing group where Mack serves on the board. They noted that the CSPOA promotes “a fringe theory that sheriffs are the highest elected authority in the nation and have the authority to resist gun restrictions or other laws they deem unconstitutional.”
As a 2nd amendment absolutist, there is only one scenario where he would consider regulating guns:
“If somebody could ever come up with one where we could throw all the guns in the bottom of the ocean and they can guarantee me that it’ll be everybody, I’m all for it,” Mack said. “If they can’t guarantee me they’ll take ‘em away from the criminals and the gangs, I’m not giving mine up either.”
Mack’s claim to fame before this week’s off-the-rails comment was during the 1990s when he won a Supreme Court case that weakened gun regulations in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. He was sheriff of Graham County, Arizona at the time.
The congressional candidate also appeared on the extremist conspiracy-theory peddling site Infowars on the 19th:
“The reason that I really have a chance to win this is because there are so many mainstream candidates running,” Mack claimed.
Well, that’s one way to look at it. Upon closer inspection, it appears the other GOP candidates have a whole mess of issues themselves.
In a new poll, state Senators Debbie Lesko and Steve Montenegro appear to be the frontrunners for the Republicans. Lesko threatened to sue another Republican candidate, Phil Lovas, who called her out for campaign-finance “funny business.” She is endorsed by Governor Jan Brewer, who called on Steve Montenegro to withdraw from the race in light of the evidence he received a topless photo from a former Senate staffer. That woman alleges it was a case of “revenge porn.” Ironically, Governor Brewer renounced Montenegro but is an avid supporter of Trump, who faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct himself.
Maybe Richard Mack is on to something. He might have a chance of becoming a candidate –not because they are “mainstream,” but because of so much scandal from the Arizona GOP. Hopefully, the voters in the state don’t end up putting a guy who compares the Parkland students to Nazis on the ballot.
Feature image: Screenshot via YouTube