A Republican candidate to become the next governor of Kansas is shrugging off flak for his Rat Patrol-like appearance in a local parade.
Kris Kobach, the current Secretary of State of Kansas and one of a crowded field of candidates for governor, appeared in the Old Shawnee Days parade last weekend near Kansas City while riding a patriotic-themed Jeep CJ accessorized with a faux belt-fed M2 machine gun mounted on a pintle over the roll bar.
“Had a blast riding in the Old Shawnee Days Parade in this souped up jeep with a replica gun,” said Kobach on social media afterward. “Those who want to restrict the right to keep and bear arms are deeply misguided. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Had a blast riding in the Old Shawnee Days Parade in this souped up jeep with a replica gun. Those who want to restrict the right to keep and bear arms are deeply misguided. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. #ksleg#ksgov#TeamKobachpic.twitter.com/ZULBEYTqUW
The ride, however, drew condemnation from some who characterized the GOP candidate as tone-deaf in the aftermath of high-profile mass shootings that have driven the national news cycle and triggered a review of allowing gun-like objects in future parades in the city.
“What happened yesterday was clear that we probably need some set guidelines, so moving forward we have kind of a set of rules to say this is what’s okay, and this is what’s not,” said Julie Breithaupt, with the City of Shawnee, responding to complaints.
Kobach downplayed those who felt the showing was in poor taste, and stood by his (reproduction) gun on the issue.
“The outrage over the replica gun on the back of a patriotic jeep is the left trying to attack guns and your #2A rights,” he said. “I will not back down in the face of a snowflake meltdown and outrage culture.”
In the meantime, Kobach, who is headed into a primary fight in August, has seen his profile elevated over the incident, appearing on Fox & Friends and others to speak to the controversy while touching on his support for the Second Amendment.