A pair of Republican contenders in Georgia’s lieutenant governor primary might have a shoot-out at “high noon” Friday. If the challenge is accepted, it wouldn’t be a Hamilton-style duel, but a clay pigeon-shooting competition as some sort of measure of who’s actually the most pro-gun.
Last week, the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed state Sen. David Shafer (R) in the primary race, calling him “a voice for freedom and faithful friend to Georgia’s law-abiding gun owners” who offers “unwavering support for the Second Amendment.” But one of Shafer’s opponents, former state Sen. Rick Jeffares (R), doesn’t think Shafer deserved the endorsement.
“David reads his gun talking points well, I want to see if he knows which end of a shotgun the shells go in,” Jeffares challenged, suggesting he literally knows guns better. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, Jeffares has had his hunting license for decades, and his family participates in international shooting competitions and even made a baby gender announcement by firing an AR-15 through a pink balloon.
According to Jeffares’ challenge, the loser of the clay shoot would bow out of the race. And it just so happens both candidates will be speaking at a fundraiser luncheon Friday at the Cherokee Rose Gun Club.
Shafer hasn’t agreed to the challenge, but that isn’t stopping Jeffares. “Let’s save the people of Georgia the hassle of wading through political TV ads and mail pieces and settle this contest today,” Jeffares said. “I’ll bring an extra 12 gauge in case he doesn’t have one.”
On his campaign site, Jeffares claims as one of his highest priorities he will “fight to protect and expand second amendment rights.” Neither candidate lists reducing gun violence as a priority.
It’s also unclear how a candidate’s ability to fire a gun in any way speaks to their capabilities as an elected leader.
Both candidates in the Democratic primary support gun violence prevention measures. Sarah Riggs Amico blasted state Republicans who retaliated against Delta Air Lines for ending its discount program for NRA members, and Triana Arnold James has openly called for stricter gun control measures.
Thanks @politicalinsidr — When we play politics instead of focusing on the people of Georgia, we all lose. @CaseyCagle’s posturing has hurt GA and our bid for @Amazon’s HQ2. This isn’t how you create jobs, I know from experience, and that’s why I'm running to replace him. #GAPOL https://t.co/BVJCjFOu8m
— Sarah Riggs Amico (@SarahRiggsAmico) February 28, 2018
Everytown: GA lawmakers can pass law to keep guns AWAY from convicted domestic abusers. Reply CALL & urge key lawmakers to SUPPORT. @Everytown @MomsDemand @triana7 @JoeBiden @MSNBC @amjoyshow @cnnireport
— Triana Arnold James (@triana4georgia) February 26, 2018
A third Republican candidate in the primary, former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, wasn’t invited to participate in the shoot-out.