Brad Staats, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress, posted to Facebook a photo of a handgun with an attack on President Obama, including the phrase, “Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama.”
Staats, who stands by his posting of the photo and his comments, promises he meant no threat. “I thought if I put that out there, people would know exactly where I stand,” he said. Staats is facing Democrat U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District election.
“Many people in Tennessee keep asking me about my opinion on Second Amendment rights,” Staats’ Facebook post begins. “Apparently Tennesseans are part of that crazy crowd that Obama says ‘cling to their religion and guns.’ Well, then I must be part of that crazy crowd. Here is something that I usually have with me. Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama, where we appreciate our 2nd Amendment rights and the Constitution that was wisely given to us by our founding fathers.”
If that’s not threatening, certainly it could be interpreted as threatening — and should disqualify anyone from service in Congress, if only for poor judgment.
Staats, in the video below, says, “I’m going to say what I mean, I’m going to mean what I say.”
NBC says Staats “says the Facebook post was in reference to the recently passed U.N. Small Arms Treaty, an international agreement aimed at keeping firearms from terrorists and rogue regimes. The treaty was opposed by gun-rights advocates who fear it could encroach on civilian gun-ownership rights at home.”
“I do want President Obama to know as well as the rest of Congress and everyone else regarding our constitutional rights, don’t tread on America’s constitution,” Staats told WKRN-TV. “I think that your liberties, your life can be defended by the proper instructed use of a handgun.”
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