NC Gun Shop Billboard Targets Freshmen Congresswomen

CHEROKEE COUNTY, NC — A North Carolina gun shop has stirred controversy and come under fire by critics after it erected a billboard with photos of four freshmen Congresswomen. The sign for Cherokee Guns in Murphy, North Carolina, shows the photos of Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Above their faces, “The 4 Horsemen are Idiots,” it said.

The sign quickly drew the ire of gun control advocates, with one group calling the message “anti-government violent rhetoric.”

“Threats against members of Congress, particularly minority members are [increasing] and it is driven by the president’s racial rhetoric,” the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said in a Facebook post. “This is dangerous!!!”

The sign comes close on the heels of sharp attacks made by President Trump targeting the four progressive Congresswomen, who he calls “The Squad.” In late July, he said the women — who are all U.S. citizens — should “go back” to their countries and that they were “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart,” Politico reported.

The president’s rhetoric, widely criticized as racist because all four are women of color, continued at a recent Trump rally in Greenville, North Carolina. During the event, the crowd chanted “Send her back,” in reference to Omar. “Once you start telling American citizens to go back to your own countries, this tells you that this president’s policies are not about immigration, it’s about ethnicity and racism,” Ocasio-Cortez said following the event.

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A photo of the billboard posted July 28 on the gun shop’s Facebook page had generated more than 1,000 comments by Thursday, both supporting and condemning its message.

“Love it. This made my day,” said one sign supporter. “You should print them off,” said another. “I’ll take at least 100 copies for the range.”

“I’m sure you consider this funny and somehow patriotic,” one person wrote. “But these four women were duly elected by their constituents. They are members of the United States Congress. This billboard is hateful and dangerous.”

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