Blake Masters, whom former President Donald Trump recently endorsed for Senate in Arizona, said during a podcast appearance earlier this year that “Black people, frankly” are responsible for America’s gun violence problem.
“We do have a gun violence problem in this country, and it’s gang violence,” Masters said on the “Jeff Oravits Show” on April 11, the Daily Beast reported on Sunday. “It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”
Masters — who has peddled the great replacement theory and falsely insisted that Trump won the 2020 election — went on to say that Democrats “don’t like the Second Amendment” because “it frankly blocks a lot of their plans for us.”
Masters has leaned on racism, conspiracy theories, and guns throughout this campaign. Guns in particular have been featured prominently is his campaign videos. “The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting,” he said in one of them, adding that “the first thing the Taliban did when Joe Biden handed them Afghanistan” was “[take] away people’s guns.”
The 35-year-old has garnered praise not only from Trump — who called him a “great modern-day thinker” in endorsing him last week — but also figures like Tucker Carlson, who has called Masters “the future of the Republican Party” and regularly gives him airtime on his primetime show. Trump and Carlson have also both embraced J.D. Vance, the Ohio Senate candidate who has similarly fretted that imposing regulations on firearms is a slippery slope to “destroying the Second Amendment,” and, like Masters, received a boatload of cash from right-wing billionaire Peter Thiel. Masters so far received $13.5 million from Thiel.
Masters also claimed to Jeff Oravits in April that lawmakers in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have “legalized crime.”
“They talk about crime but I find it crocodile tears,” Masters said in trying to absolve white people of responsibility for gun violence. “Because if they were actually tough on crime they would get serious about gang violence.”
Several Republican have responded to America’s mass shooting epidemic by pointing to crime in large cities, which are Democratic. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tried to do so last week during a hearing on gun violence, but was sharply rebuked by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), who noted that Pennsylvania’s Republican legislature has “for decades blocked [Philadelphia] leadership from passing the type of common-sense gun safety laws we are considering today.”