As you’ve no doubt heard by now, former President Donald Trump visited a gun store. Palmetto State Armory, to be exact.
While there, he said something about wanting to buy the gun decorated with his face, which isn’t surprising since Trump really likes anything with his face or name on it. He’s not known for being subtle, after all.
However, the wonderful folks over at The New Republic write that there was more to the choice of gun store than one might assume. (Yahoo! link)
A lot of the media has focused on whether Trump actually purchased a gun and violated the law, but less attention has been paid to Trump’s decision to visit Palmetto State Armory, as opposed to any other gun store in South Carolina.
In late August, a white man opened fire in a Dollar General store in a predominantly Black Jacksonville neighborhood, killing three people, all of whom were Black. The shooter, who then killed himself, used a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, at least one of which was painted with a swastika. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said the shooter “hated Black people” and acted alone.
At least one of the guns came from Palmetto State Armory, a store in Summerville, South Carolina. The Jacksonville sheriff’s office shared photos of the firearms used in the attack on its Facebook page. One of the guns is clearly engraved with the Palmetto State Armory logo. The shooter had also drawn swastikas on the gun.
When the Jacksonville shooting happened, Trump did not issue any statement on the tragedy. But you could argue that this campaign stop is a kind of tacit statement. He put the spotlight on Palmetto State Armory, praised its inventory, and tried to offer it business.
That’s right. Trump is an evil, vile racist because it turns out he visited the store for the manufacturer who made one of the guns used by an evil, vile racist in an attack.
Look, you can knock Trump for not making a statement on the Jacksonville attack if you want. I think it’s a fair criticism, though I can also see arguments why he might not.
Yet when you’re entire argument is that Trump is a racist because he went to this particular store, you’re making a pretty big leap.
Yes, the Jacksonville killer apparently had a gun from Palmetto State Armory. Yet I haven’t seen a lick of evidence that he ever set foot in this particular store.
Palmetto State Armory builds guns and sells them online, shipping them to FFLs all over the nation. Plenty of people in plenty of other states have firearms from Palmetto State Armory and likely didn’t even know they had a store.
However, this is a company that has been very open with its politics over the years, issuing special edition versions of AR receivers mocking things like wokeness and Biden and actually celebrating Trump.
When you consider that for a moment, doesn’t that sound like a far more plausible reason for Trump to visit?
I get the need for extreme leftist publications like The New Republic to try and paint everything as racist. It was a handy way to try and push people into behavior patterns that leftists would prefer. No one wants to be considered racist, after all.
The problem is that when you try to paint a candidate’s visit to a store that has been openly and vehemently supportive of him over the years as actually racist simply because some wanker happened to buy a gun from them, then do something both racist and awful, then you’re kind of making it hard to take other claims of racism seriously.
And since that’s been going on for ages now, the word has lost its sting.
So, instead of making people take issue with Trump even visiting Palmetto State Armory, you’re just embarrassing yourself.