Gun control advocacy groups and liberals are outraged by a North Carolina gun shop’s billboard, which mocks the four progressive freshman congresswomen known as the “Squad.”
Cherokee Guns, an establishment located in Murphy, shared a photo of the billboard to its Facebook page on Sunday, the Charlotte Observer reported.
The phrase “The 4 Horsewomen are Idiots” is emblazoned above images of Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
“Signed, the Deplorables,” reads a message below the images of the Democrat lawmakers, who are all women of color that have had high-profile spats with President Donald Trump.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a national gun control advocacy non-profit, criticized Cherokee Guns’ billboard in a Facebook post of its own.
“Disgusting anti-government violent rhetoric from Cherokee Guns in North Carolina,” the group said. “Threats against members of Congress, particularly minority members are and it is driven by the president’s racial rhetoric.”
“This is dangerous!!!” the Coalition added.
Liberal commenters on social media piled on.
“Your sign is putting a target on these US Reps. What… is wrong with you? REPORTING YOUR BUSINESS TO ACLU AS A HATE GROUP,” wrote one Facebook user.
“There was a 6 year old boy shot to death in California yesterday in a mass shooting by a white supremacist who bought in to all the hateful, racist rhetoric,” wrote another. “Words have consequences.”
Meanwhile, Cherokee Guns and Trump supporters doubled down on the provocative rhetoric.
“Alright my fellow Infidels for Trump…due to OVERWHELMING demand…you may come by the shop (next week) and get your very own FOUR HORSEMEN COMETH STICKER,” the business said in a Facebook post shared on Monday. “simple…eat a piece of bacon…tell us you’re voting for Trump in 2020…then get your limited edition bumper sticker!! (While supplies last!) Snowflakes and Liberals are not eligible…sorry…”
Cherokee Guns’ owner also left employees with cue cards detailing how to handle any “threatening liberals” who visited the store.
“Show them the door, or your gun, and tell them they can buy their own billboard and pay for it like I did,” a staff member said, according to the Observer.
Cherokee Guns and Trump versus the Squad
Cherokee Guns’ billboard controversy reflects the tense nature of political discourse in 2019. The incendiary rhetoric regularly espoused by both Trump and the Squad, and their resultant popularity, could be taken as an indication that bombast is well-rewarded in the social media age.
Earlier this month, Trump’s tweets urging the four congresswomen – three of whom were born in the United States – to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” sparked condemnation from critics and catalyzed vigorous defenses from his supporters.
And weeks later, Trump renewed his criticism of the progressive freshmen lawmakers, accusing them of saying “horrible” things about the United States. He hit back at those who deemed him racist for tweeting that they should “leave the United States” if they are unhappy with the country.
*story by The Pluralist