Gun shop puts up billboard of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley

AOC, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley still unknown to many

WASHINGTON – A North Carolina gun store owner took out a billboard advertisement focused on four Democratic congresswomen of color that makes reference to “The 4 Horsemen” and all but calls the four progressive lawmakers “idiots.” 

The lawmakers featured on the billboard are the same four Democrats — colloquially known as the “Squad” — who have drawn President Donald Trump’s ire in recent weeks as he has leveled repeated racist attacks on them. 

Cherokee Guns, based in Murphy, N.C., posted a picture of the billboard on its Facebook page Sunday. The image has photos of Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Above the four women’s photos, the billboard reads “The 4 Horsemen Cometh are Idiots,” and below it says “Signed, the Deplorables.”

“The 4 Horsemen” is a biblical reference to the coming of the end of the world. In the Bible, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are said to bring pestilence, war, famine and death.

In addition, the sign references “deplorables,” a term that Hillary Clinton famously used in 2016 to describe some of Trump’s supporters. 

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In a separate post on Monday, the store said that it will be giving out bumper stickers bearing the same image.

Trump several weeks ago tweeted for the four congresswomen to “go back” to their countries. Three of the four lawmakers were born in the United States and all four are U.S. citizens.

The four Democrats have criticized Trump’s comments as racist. The House of Representatives last month also condemned the president’s tweets as racist. Trump has repeatedly denied that his comments about and attacks on the four women of color are racist.

Following Trump’s tweets, chants of “send her back” broke out at a rally in North Carolina when the president mentioned Omar. Trump initially denounced the chant, but later called the supporters at that rally “patriots.”

Several top Democratic lawmakers called for more security for Omar and others after Trump’s attacks and the chants that followed.

Speaking to reporters Thursday before heading to a rally in Cincinnati — his first since the North Carolina rally, the president said he would prefer that his supporters not revive the chants. But Trump also suggested he was not sure he would be able to stop the chanting if it happened. 

‘I prefer they don’t’: Trump says he hopes Cincinnati rally crowd doesn’t revive ‘send her back’ chant

The advertising company responsible for the billboard, Allison Outdoor Advertising, said on Facebook Wednesday that it was going to take the billboard down, according to North Carolina’s News Channel 9. The company has since deleted the post. It did not respond to request for comment from USA TODAY.

Pressley on Tuesday criticized the billboard and called on Rep. Mark Meadows, who represents the district where the gun shop is located, to get involved.

“#Racist rhetoric from the occupant of the @WhiteHouse has made hate our new normal. We are still vulnerable,” Pressley wrote on Twitter. “@RepMarkMeadows – Cherokee Guns is in your district & you and I serve on a committee together. Here’s your chance to finally do the right thing.”

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