The last week and a half has seen yet another brutal round of mass shootings, from the killings at three spas in the Atlanta area to the massacre at a gas station in Boulder, Colorado. There have been dozens of such shootings in the last five years alone, and each time they occur, there’s renewed talk about passing gun control legislation…which invariably gets severe pushback from conservative circles, whose argument is to once again do nothing.
One of those out to take down gun control legislation is Lindsey Graham, long one of the GOP’s brightest lights, and now one of disgraced former president Donald Trump’s still-ardent supporters. The senator from South Carolina went on Fox News, where Chris Wallace grilled him on a number of issues, including to get assault weapons out of the hands of citizens who use them to commit mass murder. Graham wasn’t having that, and he painted a grim portrait of what would happen if Senate Democrats attempted to change gun laws.
“I would challenge Senator Schumer to bring the assault weapons ban to the floor of the United States Senate. It won’t get 50 votes, much less 60,” Graham told Wallace. He then launched into a volent fantasy. “I own an AR-15. 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.”
Graham then fell back on another common GOP line: that it’s not about wide access to assault weapons that is causing more mass shootings than in any other developed nation, but that it was really about “mental health.”
"I own an AR-15. 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 pic.twitter.com/PYTkLzvK1J
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 28, 2021
It wasn’t long before a lot of people on social media were dragging Graham for retreating into violent fantasy rather than trying to make reality more safe.
I, for one, did not have “Lindsey Graham picking off gang bangers in a Road-Warrior-post-apocalyptic-South-Carolina” on my bingo card. https://t.co/kHeZ3s0EEY
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) March 28, 2021
lindsey graham saw sharknado and said "what about hurrigangs" https://t.co/TVd4LflZtg
— blaire erskine (@blaireerskine) March 28, 2021
Can someone explain why Lindsey Graham keeps bringing up this oddly specific fantasy about being attacked by gangbangers during a natural disaster? https://t.co/pZOoDK0byO
— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) March 28, 2021
Kool & The Gang stands at the end of Lindsey Graham’s driveway, shakes their heads in disappointment, and slowly walks to the house next door to perform “Celebration” on the lawn https://t.co/qh8BM1xxuC
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) March 28, 2021
settler colonial history in one long arc from kentucky rifles and winchesters deployed against "hordes" of indigenes and unruly slaves to Lindsey Graham fantasizing about sitting in a rocker on his verandah with a $4K AR in one hand and a stevia julep in the other https://t.co/PAqWMvICXP
— inverted vibe curve: burgertown must be defended (@PatBlanchfield) March 28, 2021
LOLing at the fantasy that marauding gangs will take over South Carolina after one natural disaster and be terrified of Lindsey Graham and his gun. So much to unpack there https://t.co/9q9DKwLQn2
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) March 28, 2021
Lindsey Graham is so far up his freckled, lady bug-lookin ass that even in his own scenario he's wrong because everyone in this "gang" would have AR-15s too, but with a ban on AR-15s and gun control, the odds of weapons of war in the hands of any criminal are drastically reduced. https://t.co/EJiNBoUr3H
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) March 28, 2021
Others pointed out that his idea, of shooting roving gangs with an AR-15, is kind of selfish.
So in the event of a "natural disaster," like a hurricane, rather than help his fellow South Carolinians who've presumably lost electricity, need fresh water and food, Lindsey Graham's reaction is "let them eat bullets." https://t.co/iivyGZ8JX9
— Wyatt Cenac (@wyattcenac) March 28, 2021
Some people imagine a natural disaster and imagine people pulling together to help each other. Lindsey Graham imagines this. https://t.co/AwcdweyNrU
— Michael Li 李之樸 (@mcpli) March 28, 2021
In fact, maybe there’s already a natural disaster plaguing South Carolina.
Lindsey Graham *is* South Carolina’s natural disaster. https://t.co/QviN4d5Ub3
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) March 28, 2021
Graham did clear one perilously low bar, though: He agreed that the sweeping bill passed by Republican in Georgia last week — the one that seeks to make voting more difficult — had one detail that in particularly seemed needlessly cruel. That would be making it illegal to give food and water to people standing in long lines while voting, which would be even longer in part because of this new bill. “Well, all I can say is that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me,” Graham told Wallace.
"That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me" — even Lindsey Graham can't defend Georgia Republicans making it a crime to give food and water to people waiting in line to vote pic.twitter.com/XwKfJflobt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 28, 2021
Exactly. Even Lindsey Graham, who has become of the most Trump-aligned Republicans in Congress, thought this went too far. https://t.co/ojVf0bvVlL
— Perry Bacon Jr. (@perrybaconjr) March 28, 2021
Speaking of Georgia, though, Graham has yet to be punished for illegally attempting to get rid of some Biden votes in the state.
I’m old enough to remember when Lindsey Graham illegally pressured Georgia election officials to throw away a lot of votes. How is he not in prison yet?
— Andrea Junker ® (@Strandjunker) March 28, 2021