- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The National Rifle Association failed to see the humor in the Rev. Raphael Warnock’s joking about concealed-carry holders in church.

The NRA released a digital ad Monday showing Democratic Georgia Senate runoff candidate in a 2014 sermon criticizing Georgia’s “lax gun laws” and legislation to allow what he called “more guns and more access to guns by more people in more places.”

“So somebody decided they had a bright idea to pass a piece of legislation that would allow for guns and concealed weapons to be carried in churches. Have you ever been to a church meeting? That’s the last place,” said Mr. Warnock to laughter.

The lengthier video showed Mr. Warnock smiling and adding as the chuckling subsided, “Whoever thought of that had never been to a church meeting.”

The NRA noted that gun owners have stopped several deadly U.S. church shootings, including 2017 and 2019 attacks on houses of worship in Texas, as well as a 2007 shooting at a church in Colorado Springs.

“Rev. Warnock, Law-Abiding Americans Defending Themselves is No Laughing Matter,” says the NRA caption.



The one-minute ad featured footage of Jack Wilson, a church security volunteer who shot and killed a gunman in 2019 at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, seconds after the attacker killed two parishioners.

The ad also showed Stephen Willeford, who shot and injured in 2017 a mass shooter at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, then pursued him in a high-speed car chase. The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after killing 26 parishioners in the state’s deadliest mass shooting.

The Washington Times has reached out to the Warnock campaign for comment.

Mr. Warnock received an “F” grade from the NRA for his support of gun-control measures, including red-flag laws and magazine-capacity limits. He has been endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization financed largely by billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

“Everytown is proud to reaffirm our support for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, who are running against two gun extremists,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, in the Nov. 8 endorsement.

The runoff election pits Mr. Warnock against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and the Democrat Ossoff against Republican Sen. David Perdue in two races that will determine control of the Senate.

Mr. Warnock has seen his past comments, many from the pulpit of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, come back to haunt him during the campaign, including a 2011 sermon in which he said that “nobody can serve God and the military.”

The video prompted outrage from some veterans, including Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, who said Mr. Warnock should withdraw from the race. The Warnock campaign said the comment was taken out of context.

“First Warnock goes after our veterans, now our Second Amendment,” said the NRA. “Georgians have a clear choice Jan. 5!”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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