My own home state of Georgia tends to lean pretty pro-gun. That’s especially true when you leave the confines of Atlanta. In fact, in a lot of ways, the rural attitudes toward Atlanta tend to be hostile…unless you’re talking professional sports, anyway.

So people running for office outside of Atlanta are often benefited from taking a pro-gun stance.

Further, a firearm giveaway is a damn good way to raise money, even for political candidates. That’s probably what former U.S. Congressman and once-again congressional candidate Paul Broun figured.

Yet some of his language about the giveaway has ruffled some feathers.

With the coronavirus pandemic spreading, a Georgia Republican running for Congress is giving away a semiautomatic rifle to one “lucky” supporter who can use it to shoot “looting hordes from Atlanta.”

Paul Broun, a Tea Party Republican and former U.S. representative running for the state’s open District 9 House seat, announced a sweepstakes Friday to give away an AR-15 rifle to one person who signs up for emails from his campaign website. (Watch his video at the end of this article.)

Accompanying the announcement was a video that shows Broun hiking through a field and shooting his AR-15. Near the end of the video, he shoots what appears to be an animal in the distance, and off-camera cries of indeterminate origin can be heard.

Broun told The Guardian in a Tuesday phone interview that his reference to “looting hordes from Atlanta” was “not racial.”

“Only the liberal press would take that kind of position. There are a lot of white people in Atlanta as well,” Broun said to The Guardian. “Ma’am, I have been a keynote speaker at an MLK Day Celebration.”

Now, look, I’m going to agree that Broun probably shouldn’t have phrased things that way. Even if you take out the supposed racial component, it’s just not a good look. A lot of people are going to be uncomfortable with that and it’s likely to draw the wrong kind of press.

That said, Broun talking about looters from Atlanta descending upon the rural parts of the state isn’t as far-fetched as some might want it to sound.

Right now, there are still a whole lot of empty spots on the grocery store shelves, at least in my neck of the woods. That’s after about a month of lockdown. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to see problems getting worse, especially as the economy tanks. It’s not difficult to imagine hungry people from Atlanta venturing out into the rural areas where people grow things in order to find food.

I’d like to think we can stop the trainwreck before it gets to that point, but Broun’s not wrong about the potentiality.

Where he messed up, in my opinion, was to speak so flippantly about it. Especially when he had to know someone would try to make it racial. Atlanta is a supposedly “black” city because more than 51 percent of the population is African-American. Nevermind that at least 41 percent of any ravening horde would be white–that percentage is the overall percentage of white people living in Atlanta. Nope, it has to be racist.

Broun, however, has been around long enough he should have seen that coming. No, I don’t think he’s a racist. I just think he made a supreme blunder. He should have just left it at “defending your home and family from potential looters” and allow others to make up their own minds.

Instead, he targeted Atlanta.

The thing is, I don’t know that it’ll hurt him in the long run. As I said, the rural parts of the state tend to look at Atlanta with a certain degree of animosity. Hell, it might even help him a bit.

That’s the sad thing about politics these days.