A religious broadcaster who encouraged Christians to "prepare for martyrdom" over marriage equality is urging Donald Trump supporters to take up arms against their opponents.
Sandy Rios, director of governmental affairs for the American Family Association and host of a daily radio program, said Trump backers should have used AR-15 rifles to defend themselves from violent protesters at a recent rally in California, reported Right Wing Watch.
Several demonstrators were arrested after throwing punches, eggs and bottles at Trump supporters at a rally in San Jose, whose Democratic mayor blamed the Republican presidential candidate for violence at his campaign events.
Rios, who believes President Barack Obama is an atheist "with Muslim sympathies," tied that story to the debate over military-style rifles like the AR-15, which is similar to the Sig Sauer MCX rifle used by a Muslim gunman to massacre 49 clubgoers at LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
“The semi-automatic AR-15, which is routinely confused as being a machine gun or fully automatic weapon, is one of the most popular rifles in the United States and, of course, a lot of discussion is, you know, why would anybody need that?” Rios said Monday during her syndicated radio program. “I think the fact that we are in great danger might be a reason why we would need it.”
She conjured up boogeymen from minority groups to call for putting powerful weapons in the hands of some Americans.
"(Police officers) need to be armed at least as well as the drug cartels, as the Islamists, as the, you know, whoever is getting guns," Rios said. "They need to have at least the ability to have the same kind of firepower as these would-be killers, and I think they know the argument could be made for American citizens. We have to be able to protect ourselves, obviously.”
She called for Trump supporters to arm themselves against protesters -- as a Trump-backing disgraced police officer did in a viral YouTube video, urging "lone wolf patriots" to take weapons to the Republican National Convention to shoot Black Lives Matter activists.
“Remember those protests at a Donald Trump rally in California where a man in a wheelchair was attacked, a woman was attacked, not attacked, but she was hit by eggs in the face and surrounded by a mob of men?" Rios said. "It’s just, I do think, you know, people are understanding. That’s probably why 30,000 AR-15s sold since the Orlando shooting.”
Rios warned last year, shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws barring same-sex marriage, that marriage equality was the "tip of the spear" and encouraged Christians to take bold action.
“You must prepare for martyrdom,” Rios said. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but it’s coming.”