Barry Moore, the Republican candidate for Alabama 2nd Congressional District House seat, made a poor judgment call over the weekend, and then muffed an opportunity to walk it back.
On Facebook, where ill-advised actions can quickly take on a life of their own, Moore posted a meme addressing Illinois teen Kyle Rittenhouse’s fatal shooting of two and injury of another during unrest in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Moore’s meme showed two people on the ground, apparently injured, with the caption “Didn’t fight back.” The third image was Rittenhouse, wearing gloves and carrying what appears to be an AR-15-style rifle. “Fought back,” the Rittenhouse caption read.
The post didn’t stay up long before Moore deleted it, championing a vigilante is a stunningly misguided expression from a man who seeks to represent the people of Alabama’s 2nd District in Congress.
The situation in Kenosha is chaotic, with people protesting the police shooting of an African-American man days earlier. Unfortunately, the protests have been accompanied by property damage. These are matters best addressed by law enforcement, not a teenager from another state who is in violation of the law in both states by simply owning and carrying his weapon.
Moore later issued an apology, expressing regret for the graphic nature of his meme. However, he failed to renounce its message, which suggests his apparent support of Rittenhouse, who faces two counts of homicide and other charges in the shooting.
“We have the right to defend our lives, our families, and our property, and the 2nd Amendment allows us to do so with firearms,” Moore’s statement read. “We must never relinquish this basic right because we never know when an angry mob (or tyrannical government) will come against us.”
Mr. Moore’s willingness to pass judgment without full knowledge of facts and throw support behind an armed teenager responsible for the death of two people and injury of one other in a misguided campaign of vigilante justice is revealing.
Reasonable voters may choose to “fight back” in their own way at the ballot box in November.