In the week leading up to the Conservative Political Action Conference, an event where the recent school shooting in Florida received ample attention, Arizona Republican Richard Mack said he was displeased with the rhetoric coming from anti-gun student activists -- and he went so far as likening them to "Hitler and Stalin and Lenin".
In an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the candidate for U.S. Congress said he would like to have an "adult conversation" about gun control, which Mack seems to believe can only lead to fewer regulations.
“The talk that I’ve heard so far coming from either some of the students or from politicians or from the media is that gun control would make us safer,” Mack said. “And I already told you that if you compare that to some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin, you’ll see the exact same kind of language used — that gun control will make you safer.”
Mack was also displeased with the way students interacted with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch at the town hall meeting televised on CNN this week, saying “some of the people were being pretty rude”.
He said he hadn’t made an effort to reach out to the students himself, and he asked the SPLC to do so on his behalf. (The SPLC declined.) He also wondered aloud whether Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose jurisdiction includes the school where the massacre took place, might help him get in contact with the victims.
As founder of the "constitutional sheriffs" movement, Mack has previously said that the federal government is “the greatest threat we face today” and cast his group as “the army to set our nation free.”
[T]he Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA)...promotes a fringe theory that sheriffs are the highest elected authority in the nation and have the authority to resist gun restrictions or other laws they deem unconstitutional.
The organization has vowed to defend the right to keep and bear guns “in all times and all places it is threatened.” The only exceptions, according to the organization, are for people who have been found guilty of crimes and legally declared to be “prohibited possessors” and for people who have been legally found to be too mentally ill to possess a gun.