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Tipsheet

It Advertises Trump, Firearms, And Bacon -- But Is This Gun Store Racist?

A North Carolina gun store is mixing business and politics in a very big way, but some are worried the business is promoting racism, hatred, and violence. 

Cherokee Guns posted a billboard advertisement containing images of “the squad,” a group of four progressive Congresswomen that includes Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). The billboard declares, “The 4 Horsemen Cometh,” but a slash crosses out the word “Cometh” and additional text completes the sentence to say: “The 4 Horsemen are Idiots.” “Signed, the Deplorables,” the text reads below the photos of the Congresswomen.  Cherokee Guns has announced that people who visit their store next week can get a bumper sticker if they consume a piece of bacon and indicate that they will vote for President Trump in the 2020 election. But the social media post says that “Snowflakes and Liberals are not eligible”:  The company posted a picture of another billboard that depicts a very ripped Donald Trump flexing his bulging muscles in front of an American flag. The billboard declares: “No collusion. No obstruction. Just guns!!!” Another Facebook post contains a graphic that Cherokee Guns said was going to be put on a billboard. The graphic depicts Donald Trump holding a smoking gun in each hand, along with the text, “I lubricate my guns with liberal tears.” 

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Take a look at some of the company’s Facebook posts:  The Citizen Times reported they communicated with an individual who said he is the owner of the establishment: 

The Citizen Times spoke to a man who described himself as the owner of Cherokee Guns and identified himself only as "Doc." The "about" section on Cherokee Guns' Facebook page lists Doc Wacholz as the store's 2012 founder. 

"I'm not inciting any violence or being racist," Doc said. "It's a statement. It's an opinion." 

When asked why he chose to pair the congresswomen with his gun shop advertisement, Wacholz said, "They're socialists, from my point of view. I also feel a couple of them, being Muslim, have ties to actual terrorists groups."  

Wacholz reiterated that his billboard is protected by free speech and said he paid about $250 a month to rent it.

 Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted about the billboard, calling out Conservative North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows (R):

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