The new "king" of gun control needs a running mate, and we've got the perfect suggestion

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The gun control lobby has a new champion, though you probably won’t be seeing him out and about at protests or testifying before a congressional committee anytime soon. Joseph Maldonado Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, has announced he’s running for the 2024 Democratic nomination for president while serving a 21-year prison sentence.. and doing so on a platform of “responsible gun regulation.”

That’s right. The Tiger King now wants to be the king of gun control.

A press release sent to FOX23 said Joseph Maldonado Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, will change his party affiliation from libertarian to democrat for the 2024 presidential run.

According to the press release, Joe Exotic’s departure from the Libertarian Party is due to his frustration with infighting and weapon ownership views. “Fearlessly challenging the status quo, Joe Exotic now champions responsible gun regulation that fiercely protects the Second Amendment while ensuring public safety,” said the release.

This must be a fairly recent change of heart (or branding) for Mr. Exotic, since he announced last month that he’d be running for president as a Libertarian. In fact, his current campaign website makes no mention of his decision to switch parties and run as a gun-controlling Democrat.

Joe seeks to run for President of the United States of America to give a voice back to the people who make up this great country. Politicians and lobbyists have too much control over everyone’s lives and rights; he thinks it is time to change this. He believes that if you own your own property and pay taxes on it, the government should not have a right to tell you what you can do on that property. Since experiencing the corruption on the inside first-hand, he is also passionate about criminal justice reform. Joe is a Libertarian and believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans. Vote for Joe and help him break the chains of government corruption and greed that hold our citizens captive and give the rights back to the people, where they belong.

I’m not sure what happened since early March to cause such a sea change in Exotic’s views towards gun ownership, or for how long he’ll hold on to his new position, but I do know this: since he’s stuck in a prison cell and won’t be able to head out on the campaign trail himself he’s gonna need a running mate who can represent him on the stump.

Normally I’m not in the habit of giving advice to anti-gunners, but I’ll throw Joe a bone here because I think I’ve got the perfect running mate for him: Ryan Busse. Just like the Tiger King, the former Kimber executive and current gun control lobbyist knows a thing or two about reversing long-held views on the Second Amendment, and is even more of a punch line than Joe Exotic himself… at least in 2A circles. As my colleague Tom Knighton recently opined after Busse falsely claimed that Smith & Wesson was promoting the Proud Boys by sharing a photo of a shirt from Perception Brands on their Instagram feed:

So basically, Busse has accused a firearm company that supplies guns to numerous police departments and the United States Armed Forces of actually being in bed with a group many claim are domestic terrorists. I don’t know, smells like libel to me.

I doubt Smith & Wesson would sue, mostly because it’s not like Busse’s comments are likely to hurt sales in any way, but what he’s doing is actually showing just how little he actually knows about what various companies are doing.

The gun control lobby’s favorite “gun industry insider” is making a grand, sweeping statement about a company he never worked for and getting it hilariously wrong.

The pair have a lot in common beyond their shared love of criminalizing the right to bear arms in self-defense, including their desperate need for media attention. With Busse as the face of the Joe Exotic for President campaign he could finally get all the face time on television and in front of the press that he wants, though he might have to cut back on his “expert” witnessing in favor of various gun control laws.

Busse could also recruit Exotic to join Giffords’ Gun Owners for Safety, which would be a huge publicity boost for the astroturf group. Maybe he could even start the first chapter run from a federal prison!

Exotic/Busse 2024 sounds like the perfect pairing for Democrats, and while I won’t be offering up any more campaign advice to Exotic, I truly hope he extends Ryan Busse an invite to join the campaign as his running mate. I can’t think of a better couple to represent the anti-gun movement as we head into the 2024 campaign season besides the Tiger King and the court jester of gun control.