Tennessee Lawmaker Insists On Giving Away a Rifle Similar to the One Used in the Orlando Massacre

In fact, he’s giving away two.

(Not the actual gun he's giving away.)<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-78539p1.html">Anatoly Vartanov</a>/Shutterstock

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The day after a rifle similar to an AR-15 was used to massacre 49 people at an LGBT club in Orlando, Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt is standing by his decision to give away an AR-15 as a door prize at an upcoming campaign fundraiser and turkey shoot.

In fact, he’s now giving away two. Holt, a Republican, told a reporter who asked if the prize was insensitive in light of the recent shooting, “absolutely not.” Holt told The Tennessean that the only problem with the assault rifle is that “it’s black and it looks real scary.”

“If I beat somebody to death with a hammer that’s just a hammer,” Holt continued. “But if I was to take and wrap it up in electrical tape and make it black, I guess that would make it an assault hammer.”

Holt was a cosponsor on the state’s recent anti-transgender bathroom bill, which ultimately failed, and he introduced a successful bill that permits full-time employees of Tennessee colleges and universities to carry a handgun on campus.

In a Facebook post Monday morning, Holt issued a call to arms to his constituents. “I want you to arm yourselves and learn to shoot with deadly accuracy should the need arise,” he wrote. “Protect your family. Protect yourselves. Protect your friends. Our government has made it quite clear that it is incapable of doing so. At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility anyways.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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