A right-wing former lawman running for U.S. Congress compared teenage survivors of a Florida school shooting to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Richard Mack, who leads the anti-government "constitutional sheriffs" movement, attended the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he complained about students galvanized by their traumatic experience, reported SPLC's Hatewatch.
“The talk that I’ve heard so far coming from either some of the students or from politicians or from the media is that gun control would make us safer,” Mack said. “I already told you that if you compare that to some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin, you’ll see the exact same kind of language used — that gun control will make you safer.”
Mack, who is running in Tuesday's special Republican primary to replace Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) in Congress, issued a news release calling for an "adult conversation" about guns.
The former Arizona sheriff now teaches economics, constitutional government and criminal justice at the Heritage Academy, which has links to fringe Mormon theologian W. Cleon Skousen.
“I love kids, I love teaching and I hate violence and always have, and I’m looking for solutions just like they are,” Mack told Hatewatch.
Mack said he thought the teens were "rude" to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) during this week's CNN town hall, and he insisted he did not intend to compare them to history's most infamous dictators -- before doing so again.
“The talk that I’ve heard so far coming from either some of the students or from politicians or from the media is that gun control would make us safer,” Mack told Hatewatch. “And I already told you that if you compare that to some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin, you’ll see the exact same kind of language used, that gun control will make you safer.”
He then asked the Hatewatch reporter to help put him in touch with the Douglas High School students, but the correspondent declined.
Mack is perhaps most recently famous for suggesting the use of women and children as human shields during the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff.
“I’m sorry, that sounds horrible,” Mack said at the time. “I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die. I would have gone next, I would have been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here.”