Republican candidate for Congress compares teen shooting victims to Hitler


A Republican running for Congress in Arizona said teenage survivors of the Florida school massacre sound like Hitler.

Richard Mack, Republican candidate for Congress, says teenage survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High shooting sound like Hitler in their calls for gun control.

Mack is a former sheriff running in the Republican primary in Arizona's 8th Congressional District. The seat was previously held by Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned after it was revealed he offered a staffer $5 million to carry his child.

In an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mack was asked about the grassroots movement started by students after the mass shooting. He was not receptive.

"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.

"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 also accused politicians and the media reporting on the attack of sounding like the man who engineered the Holocaust that exterminated 6 million innocent Jewish people.

At the top of his official website, Mack has a photo and endorsement from NRA board member Ted Nugent. There is also a video of Nugent with Mack, calling Mack a "constitutional warrior."

Nugent recently promoted the unfounded conspiracy theory that the school shooting survivors are actors.

National attention came to the students after they began their crusade for gun legislation.

For that, they have attracted attacks from a wide array of conspiracy theorists and Trump allies who have lied about them and attracted death threats to the students and their families.

Mack has been a part of the conservative conspiracy circuit for several years. He heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which inaccurately argues that sheriffs are the highest elected authorities in the country and can ignore any laws they consider unconstitutional, including gun laws.

Mack has said the only gun regulations he would ever consider would be "if somebody could ever come up with one where we could throw all the guns in the bottom of the ocean and they can guarantee me that it’ll be everybody, I’m all for it."

He is a strong supporter of Trump. "Out of all the presidents that I’ve ever known, he’s done the most in his first year," he told the Washington Post.

Like Mack, Trump is a strong believer in multiple conspiracy theories, and for years was the most prominent "birther," the group that falsely claims President Obama was not born in the United States.

Republican politics has often attracted those dwelling on the fringes. With Trump now central to the party's efforts, extremists like Mack have become its mainstream voice.

That means ludicrous ideas, like comparing student activists to Nazis, becomes the official Republican response to the world.