During a campaign rally on Monday night, the Alabama Senate Republican candidate who ultimately won the race, Roy Moore, pulled out his gun while on stage. “I believe in the Second Amendment," he said as he casually waved the firearm. Wearing a cowboy hat and a brown leather vest, Moore was giving a speech about why he should be the one to take over the available Senate seat, left vacant by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“You know, they say that guns are bad; that they kill people," Moore continued. "Well I know a lot about guns – I’m the one that used guns in combat. I know what guns do … [But] guns don’t kill, people kill. [You could say] cars kill, are we going to get rid of our cars? Are we going to get rid of our knives? No. We’ve got to bring morality back to our country.”
He also told the crowd, which included former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Brexit leader Nigel Farage, and "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, "All of Washington is watching to see what Alabama does." Moore added that "Mitch McConnell needs to be replaced, and your vote tomorrow may determine that." A super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader McConnell has given millions to Moore's opponent, Sen. Luther Strange.
Moore is a former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice who was ousted twice for violating judicial ethics, Jezebel reports. The second time, Moore lost his position as chief judge was because he refused to follow the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling. He's also suggested in the past that 9/11 was God's punishment for society legitimizing sodomy and abortion.
While he has the support of Bannon, who told "influential conservatives" he was backing Moore in August, according to AL.com, President Donald Trump is rooting for Strange. Trump believes that if Moore wins, the Democrats will ultimately win the open Senate seat. He first showed support for the candidate back in early August, when Moore's campaign coordinated with the White House for Trump's support, according to CNN. The state's primary runoff election took place on Tuesday, with Moore winning 57 percent of the vote.
Right before he pulled out the gun at his rally, Moore claimed he'd dealt with three months of negative ads accusing him of not supporting the Second Amendment, according to The Hill. "Ads that were completely false," he said. To prove them wrong, he pulled out his gun. While most people might be terrified when someone suddenly whips out a hand gun, the stunt was met with cheers from the crowd.
According to Breitbart, the alt-right site that was once helmed by Bannon, Moore is against an assault weapons ban, a high-capacity magazine ban, and more in-depth background checks for gun owners. During his speech in Mobile, Alabama, Bannon painted Moore as the anti-establishment candidate.
"Mitch McConnell and this permanent political class is the most corrupt and incompetent group of individuals in this country," he said, before pointing out that Moore has only spent between $2 to $3 million on his campaign, while his opponent spent roughly $30 million.
In addition to his controversial views on the Second Amendment, Moore has made some openly racist comments, referring to Native Americans and Asian Americans as "reds and yellows." He later claimed he was referring to a children's song from the Bible, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” The lyrics are "All the children of the world / Red and yellow, black and white / They are precious in His sight."
Moore also spoke out in an op-ed in December 2006 against Rep. Keith Ellison becoming a member of Congress, because he's Muslim. He once told Vox in an interview that parts of the Midwest were under Sharia law.
Moore, who beat Strange in the runoff, will face Democrat Doug Jones in the December general election.