Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke stirred up the audience at the National Rifle Association national convention on Friday with an outlandish “proposition” involving the Great Seal of the United States, Right Wing Watch reported.
“You know, the one with the American bald eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other,” he said. “We should take those arrows out of the eagle’s claws and replace them with a semi-automatic rifle, preferably one that shoots M-855 ammunition.”
The seal, which was first used in 1782, is kept in the Secretary of State’s office. According to the State Department, the olive branch and the arrows “denote the power of peace & war.”
Clarke, who accused single-parent black households of being the “number one” cause of black fatalities at the hands of police earlier this year, also described himself as a “bitter clinger” — a reference to President Barack Obama’s statement in 2008 regarding voters who “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment.”
“There is nothing else I would rather hold in my hand when fighting government tyranny than a Bible in my left hand that I use to swear to uphold the Constitution, and in my right hand a Winchester rifle, a symbol of freedom and liberty in the United States of America,” Clarke said.
The convention, which also features speeches by several possible Republican presidential contenders, is being held in Nashville, Tennessee over the weekend. As Alternet reported, Tennessee is one of 17 states where residents are more likely to die from shootings than from vehicular accidents.
Watch Clarke’s remarks, as posted by Right Wing Watch on Friday, below.