In the latest addition to the pantheon of GOP swagger armed with tough guy guns videos, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) spoke out in defense of gun rights Monday in a clip of him wielding two assault rifles, one of which was pointed at his own right foot.
“I have a message for the Biden administration,” said Jackson, the former doctor to President Donald Trump, in his video shared on Twitter, which racked up more than a million views in less than 24 hours.
“If you’re thinking about taking our ARs, you can start right here in Texas. On behalf of all law-abiding gun owners in the state of Texas, I just want to say: come on and get it.”
Captioning the video, Jackson added: “I will NEVER give up my firearms. I will NEVER give up my AR-15. If the Democrats want to push an insane grab at guns, they can COME AND TAKE IT!”
His passionate defense of assault rifles came on the same day that a damning report published explaining what an assault rifle did to 19 children and two teachers at a school in his state in May. It was also the same day that a gunman armed with a rifle shot dead three people in a food court in an Indiana mall.
Jackson’s video came ahead of a House vote this week on the first assault weapons ban in nearly three decades. If passed, the bill would limit the import and sale of semi-automatic weapons with certain “military characteristics,” but would not require the confiscation of guns already owned by enthusiasts.
Social media users reacted to Jackson’s show of force with dismay and amusement, with some noting the dangerous way he was holding his rifles, at least one of which appeared to be loaded. This is not the first time that the former admiral of the Navy has been ridiculed.
Jackson joined the White House Medical Unit As a doctor in 2006 and served under three presidents, but it was Trump who made him an ally and credited Jackson’s political aspirations.
In 2018, Jackson curried favor with the then-president by using a news conference to say that Trump was in “excellent health,” praising his “unbelievably good genes” and making the ridiculous claim that “if I had had a healthier diet during the last 20 years, he could live up to 200 years.”
Trump was so enamored with Jackson that he nominated the good doctor to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs. But Jackson ultimately withdrew from consideration for the job after a series of wrongdoing allegations against him came to light. Jackson was reportedly known among White House medical staff as the “candy man” for the way he handed out powerful drugs to lawmakers “like candy.” A searing 2021 report from the Defense Department’s inspector general also concluded that Jackson had smelled of alcohol at work and had “disparaged, belittled, intimidated and humiliated” his subordinates, including making sexual comments about a young female colleague. In response, Jackson said that he had been “the subject of a political hit because I supported President Trump.”
In May, the House select committee investigating the attack on Capitol Hill asked Jackson about messages exchanged between members of the far-right organization Oath Keepers. The texts said the group needed to protect Jackson because he had “critical data.” Jackson refused to participate in the congressional panel’s investigation, calling it “illegitimate” and a “ruthless crusade against President Trump and his allies.”
Jackson’s love for rifles video comes after former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens posted a senate campaign video in which he wielded a shotgun and said “We are going to hunt down RINO”, referring to the “Republicans in name only” who are despised by the extreme right of MAGA.