NRATV spotlights ex-sheriff who said Parkland survivors sound like Hitler
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NRATV host Grant Stinchfield highlighted former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who now teaches high school and ran unsuccessfully for Congress, as a teacher who supports having educators carrying guns in schools in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, FL. Mack has recently compared Parkland survivors’ calls for gun control to the commentary of Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin, and he has long-standing ties to a far-right faction of the pro-gun movement.
Asked about the student-led protests following the Parkland shooting during an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mack said the students, politicians, and media were using “the exact same kind of language” as “some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin,” who he said claimed “that gun control will make you safer.” SPLC reported that Mack does “like the idea of teachers being armed” after the Parkland shooting, though he said it’s not the “only answer.” (There’s no evidence that arming school teachers would prevent school shootings.)
On February 27, Stinchfield praised Mack for “his desire to protect his kids” before playing his interview with NRATV. After the clip, Stinchfield noted, “You better believe he’s right”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): A former sheriff in Arizona is an economics teacher now at a local high school. He wants to be armed. His name is Richard Mack. I interviewed him this week at CPAC. Why does he want to be armed? Because he knows his kids will be safer. Now, his desire to protect his kids is what this is all about. It’s a story the mainstream media refuses to tell. Instead, they want you to believe that somehow teachers don’t want the responsibility. Here’s Richard Mack.
RICHARD MACK: I teach school now. I’m a high school teacher. Why wouldn’t I be armed? And we have Dr. Mike, who’s former special ops, he’s better trained than I am. I spent 20 years in law enforcement training for this sort of thing. The school students say the same thing. They go, “Sheriff” -- they have to call me sheriff -- they say, “Sheriff, why aren’t you armed? Why aren’t you protecting us? We don’t want to be piled up in a corner waiting to get shot.”
STINCHFIELD: Well, you better believe he’s right. No teacher does, no American does, nobody wants to be piled up in a corner waiting to be shot.
Mack received an endorsement in his campaign to represent Arizona's 8th congressional district from NRA board member Ted Nugent, who has recently come under fire for spreading a conspiracy theory about Parkland shooting survivors. Mack also has well-documented and long-standing ties to a far-right faction of the pro-gun movement.
Correction: This post originally stated that Mack "is running" for Congress. In fact, he lost the Republican primary race last night, in between when the NRATV segment aired and this piece was published.