U.S. Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) won his nail-biter senate contest by campaigning in part on a message of gun control and “defund the police.” He called law enforcement “gangsters, thugs, bullies and a threat to children.” He demeaned law-abiding gun owners from his own pulpit.
But it turns out Rev. Warnock doesn’t practice what he preaches. He’s a true believer in the power of armed security. New records show he paid nearly $137,000 for private security for protection. Chalk up another tally on the “Security for me, not for thee” board of hypocritical antigun politicians.
Hypocritical Antigun Track Record.
The “defund the police” movement took rise over last summer at the same time destructive riots, business looting and community violence escalated. Firearm sales were reaching record highs as millions of Americans jumped off the fence to take their security into their own hands by purchasing their first firearm.
There were numerous examples of men and women lawfully taking up arms to ward off would-be looters and criminals. This included Atlanta, Georgia, where riots escalated right as the senate campaign between incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and challenger Rev. Warnock became a senate majority-winning race.
When it comes to the rights of law-abiding Americans to purchase and possess firearms, one of the candidates was not like the other. Rev. Warnock uncharitably mocked the flock, chiding Georgia lawmakers for passing the Safe Carry Protection Act and church-going gun owners and their right-to-carry to a worship service.
“Somebody decided that they had a bright idea to pass a piece of legislation that will allow for guns and concealed weapons to be carried in churches,” he said. Churches were “the last place” firearms were needed and gun owners are “crazy people” who bring them.
“You’ve got politicians who go to church every Sunday morning and then walk into that capitol, stand under that gold dome, and come up with the dumbest legislation you can ever imagine,” he mocked. “Imagine all them people with guns.”
That “somebody” was the Georgia state legislature. Three months later, Jack Wilson, a concealed carry permit holder and volunteer security guard used his concealed firearm to stop a murderer from inflicting unthinkable violence on fellow churchgoers during a religious service at the West Freeway Church of Christ, in White Settlement, Texas.
Rev. Warnock isn’t alone in his antigun platform, private security hypocrisy. Antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg used national TV to say the quiet part out loud during a 2020 presidential campaign town hall event on Fox News. A questioner asked Bloomberg about his staunch gun control platform while also paying for private security, inquiring “Does your life matter more than mine, or my family’s or these people’s?”
Bloomberg’s response landed like a ton of bricks. “Alright, look…I probably get forty or fifty threats every week…That just happens when you’re the mayor of New York City, or very wealthy, or campaigning for the president of the United States. You’re gonna get lots of threats,” he said.
They aren’t the only two. New reports show several gun control politicians are spending big dollars for private armed security protection while also advocating gun control on law-abiding Americans. U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) spent $44,000 on security protection, while also employing a Capitol Hill security detail. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shelled out more than $45,000 on protection while previously tweeting gun control against Texas U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).
You are a member of Congress. Why are you “lending” guns to people unsupervised who can’t pass a basic background check?
The people you’re giving a gun to have likely abused their spouse or have a violent criminal record, & you may not know it.
Why on earth would you do that? https://t.co/TQFjcLQebO
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 4, 2019
Americans Voting with Their Wallets
Sen. Warnock, Reps. Swalwell and Ocasio-Cortez, Michael Bloomberg and others can spend all they want on gun control but Americans in historic numbers spent their hard-earned dollars too over the past 15 months. They voted by the millions for their right to purchase and possess firearms. For the one billion dollars Bloomberg spent trying to win legislative seats for more gun control, he lost badly and pro-Second Amendment candidates gained several seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
More than 21 million NICS background checks were run for the sale of a firearm in 2020 and this year’s first quarter has been another record-breaker. More than 8.4 million Americans purchased a gun for the first time last year and the demographics of the American gun owner are changing, dramatically.
Gun control efforts in Congress have largely stalled, forcing Joe Biden to issue executive orders. It’s likely consequential politicians who cast the votes in Washington, D.C., like Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, have recognized the changing calculus on gun ownership: voters have noted the hypocrisy from Sen. Warnock and others like him.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.