Reacting to an act of racist terror in Charleston this week — in which a white man murdered nine black people because of the color of their skin — Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler took to Facebook to urge churchgoers to arm themselves.
“Church attendees should pack,” Zeigler writes. “Each church should have a vigilance committee of individuals who pack and who develop their own plans for defense from an attack. Calling 911 and waiting for government defense will not work. Without armed citizens in the church congregation, they are sitting ducks for criminals and terrorists.”
Though the Charleston massacre was committed by a admitted Confederate sympathizer and enthusiast of race-based violence, numerous conservative pundits and politicians made statements this week arguing Dylann Storm Roof’s murders were not motivated by racism. Rather, a “rising hostility against Christians across this country” were putting the faithful at risk of violent attack, according to Fox News.
Zeigler is lawyer by trade. He once sued to keep the ten commandments in the state’s judicial building. During his campaign for state auditor, Zeigler received an endorsement from the Alabama Tea Party Express.
On Saturday, Zeigler noted on Twitter his comments about firearms in Christian houses of worship:
My suggest that churchgoers carry, form a defense committee is trending on aldotcom. Most comments I ever received //t.co/HlFJO8DIhP
— Auditor Jim Zeigler (@jimzeigler) June 20, 2015
Zeigler’s remark attracted the attention and criticism of fellow Twitter users:
— Snertly (@Snertly) June 22, 2015
How is Jim Zeigler going to say to bring guns to church…isn't that exactly what the killer of the victims at Charleston did..bring his gun
— Angie The Innovator (@Star_Seeer) June 21, 2015