May 18, 2014

Some Sunday craziness courtesy of the Arizona Daily Star:

Congressional District 1 candidate Gary Kiehne made extreme comments about gun rights at a Republican primary debate Saturday.

Asked how he would protect gun rights, Kiehne said he owns more guns and ammunition than the other candidates and said everyone should own a gun.

When it comes to mass shootings, “if you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people,” Kiehne said to an audience of about 60 people. “So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.”

I will leave it to Think Progress to speak the truth:

Kiehne’s claim that 99 percent of shootings were committed by Democrats is completely false, yet continues to be a persistent myth on the radical right. Roger Hedgecock, a conservative radio host, seems to have originated this message soon after the Newtown shooting, as President Obama was preparing a plan to combat gun violence.

Yet very few gunmen have a coherent ideology, let alone a party affiliation. Some, like Aurora theater gunman James Holmes and Gabby Giffords shooter Jared Loughner, wrote manifestos full of anti-government paranoia and references to a wide range of books and media. Usually, these pseudo-political rants reveal more about the shooter’s mental instability than party affiliation.

The gun violence debate was largely derailed by conspiracy theories and misinformation last year as Congress tried to act on gun regulation after the Newtown shooting. On Saturday, Kiehne also invoked a common idea pushed by the National Rifle Association, that Obama was trying to expand background checks as a ruse to collect a national registry of gun owners that the government could later use to take away guns. Yet even with a provision specifying that the government could never create a registry of gun owners, bipartisan background checks legislation failed in the Senate.

But of course facts don't matter to GOP voters. Kiehne is running in the GOP primary to take on Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D. AZ). Kirkpatrick won her seat in 2008, lost it to Paul Goser (R. AZ) in 2010 but won it back in 2012.

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