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'How the Hell Is This Not Inciting Violence?' Gun Store Erects Billboard With Minority Lawmakers' Faces
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=51287"><span class="small">Michael Brice-Saddler and Reis Thebault, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Thursday, 01 August 2019 14:10

Excerpt: "The sign warns of the '4 Horsemen' - typically a reference to biblical imagery symbolizing the end of the earth: conquest, war, famine and death. But the North Carolina billboard that went up over the weekend does not depict horsemen."

Cherokee Guns in Murphy, North Carolina, has a sign inciting violence against four minority members of congress. (photo: Getty)
Cherokee Guns in Murphy, North Carolina, has a sign inciting violence against four minority members of congress. (photo: Getty)

'How the Hell Is This Not Inciting Violence?' Gun Store Erects Billboard With Minority Lawmakers' Faces

By Michael Brice-Saddler and Reis Thebault, The Washington Post

01 August 19


he sign warns of the “4 Horsemen” — typically a reference to biblical imagery symbolizing the end of the earth: conquest, war, famine and death.

But the North Carolina billboard that went up over the weekend does not depict horsemen. It shows photos of the freshman congresswomen also known as “the Squad”: Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. The billboard calls the progressive Democratic members of Congress “idiots” and is signed by “the Deplorables.”

Cherokee Guns, a Murphy, N.C., gun shop about a mile away from the sign, took responsibility for the billboard. An image shared to the shop’s Facebook page Sunday went viral this week and drew a sharp rebuke from the women pictured, as well as anti-gun-violence advocates. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence on Monday called the billboard “violent rhetoric.”

“Threats against members of Congress, particularly minority members are [trending upward] and it is driven by the president’s racial rhetoric,” the group wrote. “This is dangerous!!!”

For the congresswomen, the menacing billboard is just another high-profile threat — one of many they say they have faced since they took office in 2018.

“How the hell is this not inciting violence?” Tlaib asked in a Wednesday evening tweet.

In her own tweet, Pressley called out Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), whose district, she noted, houses the shop. She implored Meadows to “do the right thing.”

In April, a New York man was arrested and charged with threatening to kill Omar in a phone call to her Washington office. “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?” authorities say the man asked the staffer who answered the phone. “Why are you working for her, she’s a [expletive] terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull.”

Days later, President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing Omar with footage of the twin towers falling on 9/11, a post that triggered a flood of threatening messages so severe that Democratic leaders increased the congresswoman’s security, and an independent cybersecurity executive took it upon himself to flag them for the social network’s monitors.

Last week, two Louisiana police officers were fired for a Facebook post that suggested Ocasio-Cortez should be shot. At the time, the congresswoman blamed Trump’s rhetoric for the deluge of threats she and her colleagues had received. “This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s authoritarian behavior. The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability.”

As people flocked to Cherokee Guns’ Facebook page Monday, the store put out a statement indicating it had received “OVERWHELMING demand” for apparel with the billboard’s image.

“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 . . . 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 has a rich history of controversial billboards, especially ones that are overtly Islamophobic. In 2017, the store posted a picture of a different sign with “a great message.” “INFIDEL ARMAMENT” it read in block letters above Arabic script and a rifle. Two years before that, the Asheville Citizen-Times wrote, the shop put up a billboard that said, “Give me your tired, your poor . . . Keep your Syrian refugees.”

This week, the Citizen-Times reported that it spoke to the store’s owner, Doc Wacholz, who downplayed his billboard’s implications and sought to justify its message.

“They’re socialists, from my point of view,” he told the local paper, before adding, “I also feel a couple of them, being Muslim, have ties to actual terrorists groups."

”I’m not inciting any violence or being racist,” he added. “It’s a statement. It’s an opinion.” your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+41 # indian weaving 2019-08-01 14:43
Trump should've been indicted for Incitement to Riot Felony long ago. Shows that this nation is no longer operating under ANY RULES OF LAW. That applies to all of the government lawyers who have failed us in stopping Trump's proxy assassinations by the multitude since he took office. He must be indicted, convicted and imprisoned, for life hopefully. He is the most dangerous person in the USA, by far.
+46 # Wise woman 2019-08-01 16:13
It's revolting and violence inviting against these women. But these kinds of men - chicken sh*ts that they are- are too cowardly to pick on someone their own size! They are the type that run in packs with sheets covering their faces and beat up and kill kids, women and men who are alone. May they meet their justice in the great beyond if not sooner.
+15 # wilhelmscream 2019-08-01 18:57
-25 # skylinefirepest 2019-08-01 22:32
Are you two illiterate or something? Would you please indicate what is on that sign that could be interpreted by any reasonable as inciting violence against these four anti-American lunatics?? You two have no idea what you're talking about, much less any solid information that would lead to a trump indictment.
+5 # chrisconno 2019-08-02 17:42
As a victim's advocate, I helped them file orders of protection. If an abuser so much as just put a gun on the table, or was just holding a gun but not pointing it at my client, a judge would sign the order. Just the presences of a gun is threatening. A gun store is the threat.
-7 # skylinefirepest 2019-08-02 20:26
Wrong. A gun store is a legal business and is not considered a threat! Try again.
-19 # Questioner 2019-08-01 22:38
How exactly is the billboard an incitement to violence or a threat? What law does it violate? Why is it not a statement or opinion?
+17 # Jim Rocket 2019-08-01 22:40
I actually think this is sad. These women are hardworking, smart and effective. They are exactly the kind of people we all need in office. This guy is so brainwashed that he doesn't even recognize people working on his behalf. He should put up a billboard that says "I like to be screwed by rich people ...the crazier the better". He should do that because that's exactly what he believes but he probably doesn't even realize it.
+10 # diamondmarge7 2019-08-02 02:23
Can this gun owner be arrested for inciting violence? Sure hope so.
I am going to increase donations to the re-election of these women.
I am a white FDR Progressive woman.
Furthermore, my dream ticket is BERNIE/TULSI.
This creep's license should b cancelled.
+18 # rural oregon progressive 2019-08-02 03:50
This is frightening shit. It is reminiscent of Hitler's rise to power, and is no joke. I am stunned that I encounter so many people that think that THIS is the path to making America Great. This is the result of an economic system that has destroyed the American Dream, and a punditry that blames poor white people's position on "others", namely immigrants, people of color and people of different religion that have 'stolen' their birthright (not to mention strong women, especially strong women of color). The oligarchs know the pitchforks are coming, and are doing their best to get those pitchforks pointed away from them and toward the "others". And Trump is the perfect ringmaster in this potentially deadly circus. "First they came for the socialists, but I did not speak up because...." It is time for all sane, reasonable people to SPEAK UP.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-08-03 08:43
rural -- yes, this is frightening. Of course, the Nazis scapegoated and incited violence against their enemies -- communists, gypsies, Jews, and others -- but it is more reminiscent of the US Jim Crow era and lynching. Photos of four dark skinned women with the suggestive text that they are coming to destroy "our way of life" is just how some lynchings were started.

There's a long history of this sort of thing in the US. On one level it is political speech. This gun shop owner does have a right to express his opposition to the Squad. But he needs to be careful about HOW he does it. There is history here. He cannot be sure how some of his followers will react. This is the kind of thing that propelled Dylan Roof to kill a lot of people in a Black church in Charleston, SC.
+16 # suzyskier 2019-08-02 07:39
Trump is just plain sick. He reminds me over and over again of another seriously flawed leader who also held rallies, rallies which the the citizens of Germany were required to attend ! Trump has a deep mean streak and a deep affiliation for saying what ever comes into his tiny brain, in other words he’s a pathological liar and his fans lap it up like a cat drinks milk. It’s just confounding to find so many Americans do not understand they are being led to their doom by this liar. Do they actually still believe he won’t take their SS or Medicare? Are they so prejudiced they care more about their white skin than their future? It’s really frightening.
+10 # Kootenay Coyote 2019-08-02 08:15
Wacholz: proto-Terrorist , to be watched continually. That’s a statement, too.
+7 # Citizen Mike 2019-08-02 08:24
They admit to being deplorables, which proves they are dingbats! All they do with a sign like this is shit on themselves. And tell us which town to avoid when driving through the area.
+11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-08-02 10:32
Yeah, I think this sign is an incitement to violence. It should come down immediately and a correction put in its place. Maybe "Four Tireless Workers for Freedom and Peace." But that might even incite for rabid gun nuts.
-12 # skylinefirepest 2019-08-02 13:52
You people are so absolutely full of yourselves. Nobody bothered to answer my question about what would incite violence on that billboard. How stupid are you people that you see violence on that billboard but think it's okay to show trump's severed head by another leftist loony?? You people are just nutball crazy!
+6 # rural oregon progressive 2019-08-03 19:48
Quoting skylinefirepest:
You people are so absolutely full of yourselves. Nobody bothered to answer my question about what would incite violence on that billboard. How stupid are you people that you see violence on that billboard but think it's okay to show trump's severed head by another leftist loony?? You people are just nutball crazy!

Let's see... We have a billboard that pictures the four women of color that Trump uses to incite his crowds... That billboard is an ad for a weapons and ammunition shop... an additional ad says come on in and buy some guns and/ or ammo, and get a free bumper sticker that mocks these four congresswomen. Nope, we must be just connecting dots that simply aren't there... Come on!!! The billboard is not overtly stating these people should be shot and killed, but it is certainly implicit, and the actual "nutball crazies" don't need much encouragement. It is a billboard for a gun shop, for crying out loud... What legitimate purpose is there for displaying these four women if not as a threat or a "hint". I think you'd see things differently if you were a polarizing public figure in your neighborhood and you encountered a gun shop ad that featured your picture on it, don't ya think?
-3 # skylinefirepest 2019-08-04 17:41
Rural and Salus...if you see something in that photo that invites violence or scares you then I question your mental standing...seri ously! There's nothing but a chuckle for us conservatives on that sign and most people who live with gun shops in their neighborhoods don't consider them to be terrorist hangouts! Get a life and worry about what the twenty some odd clowns running on the left are fixing to do to you and our economy! More taxes, more spending, less security, and a regression to obummer period economics!!
-11 # MikeAF48 2019-08-02 15:53
Well it's a selling tool no matter what side of the fence your on. Don't see anything in it.
0 # Caliban 2019-08-05 00:55
"A selling tool" for sure, and the product being promoted and sold is murder.
0 # skylinefirepest 2019-08-08 16:04
Caliban, you're a stone cold idiot! You might wish to get a mental evaluation so that you might lose some of your hatred of the right.
+4 # Salus Populi 2019-08-04 12:16
The Reicht wing, the Future Stürm-und-Drang footsoldiers of the U.S., have gotten away for years with provocations that would result in jail time if leftists did it. Imagine putting up a picture of Sen. McConnell with a bull's-eye over his face -- or one of Drumpf, for that matter.

Just for putting up a poster with an anti-Trump message on her window in the dorm of a college in North Carolina in the fall of 2016, a student in North Carolina had her room invaded and searched by the Secret Service. In the U.S. of CorpoRape Billionaires, it's perfectly okay to send death threats to people perceived to be pro-democracy and anti-fascist, but woe be unto those who are on the Other Side -- liberals, leftists, student activists, LBGTQs, BLM cadre, nonviolent protesters against environment despoliation, or against the policies of Israel [BDS], or even against meat. All of the above have suffered serious repression during the last half-century and more, because, unlike Nazis in All But Name, they are aligned Against the corporate- and privilege- State. Remember the urinal mats with Hillary's picture and a target on them? And Hillary wasn't even by any stretch liberal or progressive.

No, in a quasi-fascist state, the Right is free to do what it wants, while the Left, if allowed to speak at all _sans_ police harassment, is relegated to storm fence-surrounde d "free speech zones" a couple of miles away from the "public" figures against whose policies they are protesting.
0 # diamondmarge7 2019-08-05 03:22
cnn WOULDN'T ALLOW PEOPLE FOR bERNIE ANYWHERE NEAR THE CAMERAS OUTSIDE THE STUDIO; THIS WAS seen and reported BYjORDAN cHARITON ON jimmy Dore's show--so that of which u speak ism already happening.
J Tapper cutm Bernie off for telling the truth that Big Pharma was running ads during 2nd debate breaks
The manufacturers of weapons have situated themselves in every state and bribed politicians w/$$$