Graham Defends Owning an AR-15

He says he would use it to protect himself from roving gangs after a natural disaster
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2021 1:25 PM CDT
Graham Defends Owning an AR-15
"You don’t have to have an AR-15, but if you have one lawfully, I think you should be allowed to keep it," says Sen. Lindsey Graham.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Lindsey Graham doesn't seem to have a lot of faith in his state's disaster preparedness. The South Carolina Republican told Fox News Sunday that he owns an AR-15 to protect himself from gangs in the aftermath of a disaster, CBS reports. "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 said. He told anchor Chris Wallace that he opposes calls for a renewed ban on assault weapons, though he would "challenge" Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to bring one up for debate. Graham blamed "mental health" for mass shootings.

Graham has spoken about his AR-15 on previous occasions, including days after the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting, when he said taking away his right to buy another one wouldn't make America safer. His remarks Sunday were slammed by gun control advocates including Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose father was fatally shot in 1984, the Washington Post reports. "So now we know that as a US Senator, you have two choices of action during a natural disaster in your state: 1) Fly to Cancún, or 2) Grab your AR-15, barricade your front door and protect yourself from all the 'gangs,'" Kerr tweeted. Parkland school shooting survivor Cameron Kasky said the idea that a "twerp like Lindsey Graham could be some sort of tough guy fending away apocalyptic invaders" is the kind of narrative the gun lobby uses to sell more guns. (More Lindsey Graham stories.)

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