In a move that’s wanting for tact, proud gun owner Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explained to reporters why he owns an AR-15 on Friday, less than a week after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
In response to questions regarding why he owns an assault rifle, Graham responded with a vague doomsday scenario in which “there’s a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything.” In Graham’s mind, his rifle isn’t just a fun a toy. It’s the perfect defense against looters.
“Yeah, people, they’re not going to come to the AR-15 home,” Graham continued. “Well, I think if you show up on the porch with an AR-15, they’ll probably go down the street.”
Enjoyed shooting my AR-15 today at Sharp Shooters in Greenville. pic.twitter.com/Vltf7F5fj7
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) August 16, 2013
“Why do you need to read what you read, and why do you need to watch the movie that you watch, and play the video games you watch?” Graham asked. “Your rights can’t be limited because I don’t understand why you want to do something.”
Graham’s brash discussion regarding his love of firearms comes in the midst of passing a bipartisan “red flag” bill designed to limit the mentally ill from accessing firearms. He’s even gone so far as to say citizens should have to pass a thorough background check before purchasing firearms.
“If you get kicked out of school for threatening your schoolmates, with a rape list and a kill list, maybe you shouldn’t buy a gun. That’s the heart of the matter here,” Graham said in reference to Connor Betts, the Dayton, Ohio shooter.
Graham’s bill is designed to help states identify at-risk citizens before they can purchase firearms. That said, there is plenty of evidence that these “red flag” laws don’t work when put into practice.
“I’ve got an AR-15. I don’t think I’m the problem,” Graham said, adding that he’d only ever shot his AR-15 “twice” and that “it’s more of a memorabilia thing.” With such little practice with his rifle, it’s unclear how Graham plans on defending his home from looters if his hometown is ever hit by a hurricane.
[Photo via Tom Brenner/Getty Images]