Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was slammed by the father of a school shooting victim for a video showing himself firing an assault-style rifle as America reels from a series of deadly mass shootings.

“Now, why would anybody need to own an AR-15?” Graham, who vehemently opposes President Joe Biden’s proposal to ban the military-style weapons, rhetorically asked Thursday in tweets accompanying the short clip.

Graham, a prominent Donald Trump sycophant who shares the GOP’s allegiance to the gun lobby, answered his own question by fearmongering over a “modern world without any police protection, because that’s just the way the times are in which we live in.”

See Graham’s tweets here:

In 1994, there was an Assault Weapons Ban – the evidence indicates that there was really no change at all in crime, because the crooks are going to get a gun! Today at @PalmettoArmory I fired one of the weapons they are trying to ban. #2A pic.twitter.com/XI985BZ96F

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 1, 2021

Now, why would anybody need to own an AR-15? If there is a breakdown of law and order, and that can happen — we've seen it happen in our major cities. Remember Hugo, where people were isolated for days? Remember Katrina?

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 1, 2021

It's not impossible to find yourself in the modern world without any police protection, because that's just the way the times are in which we live in. We're talking about defunding the police!

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 1, 2021

The photo-op followed Graham’s comments days earlier about using a firearm to protect his property in the event of a natural disaster.

“I own an AR-15. If there’s a natural disaster in South Carolina where the cops can’t protect my neighborhood, my house will be the last one that the gang will come to, because I can defend myself,” Graham told Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, accused Graham of showing off “with the weapon used to kill my daughter and the weapon of choice for mass murderers.”

“Today, Lindsey will cost lives,” Guttenberg warned. “Lindsey, all future mass murderers are paying attention to you and you just showed them what to use.”

Mass killers have slain 22 people in three U.S. mass shootings in recent weeks.

Others were equally disgusted:

Today, @LindseyGrahamSC showed off with the weapon used to kill my daughter and the weapon of choice for mass murderers. Today, Lindsey will cost lives. Lindsey, all future mass murderers are paying attention to you and you just showed them what to use. https://t.co/ZyeTIjqFyu

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) April 1, 2021

Shame on you @LindseyGrahamSC! Your argument is completely flawed. The assault weapons ban would have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy. The shooter's mom would not have been able to purchase an AR-15 legally and you know it. https://t.co/7d5IMGS013

— Newtown Action (@NewtownAction) April 2, 2021

A photo-op firing an AR15 days after a mass shooting involving the same weapon is like doing a photo-op with box cutters on an airplane after 9/11. https://t.co/IaO8PgnQCp

— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) April 1, 2021

There wasn’t a change in crime, but there was a massive drop in mass shootings, which was the goal!

— Grudgie the Whale (@grudging1) April 1, 2021

What's it like to be in Congress and have no good ideas on how to help make people's lives better?

— Chris Rongey (@ChrisRongey) April 2, 2021

I know this is for the base, but stunts like this look especially tragic at a time when a Democratic president is on TV every day talking about spending trillions of dollars on trains and bridges and homes etc. https://t.co/UKqyOJXWzy

— Richard Hall (@_RichardHall) April 1, 2021

That weapon is the preferred choice for mass murderers, you sociopath.It's been used to kill kids in schools.Fuck off indefinitely.#GunViolence #BoulderMassacre #GunReformNow https://t.co/D6qwf2a93d

— Nathan Schneider (@SchneiderLD35) April 1, 2021

Gun massacres fell 37 percent while ban was in place, rose by 183 percent after ban expired. Why are you lying about it? https://t.co/smDF0TybO1 https://t.co/9uLAlZ6LrH

— Adrian Todd Zuniga (@atzuniga) April 1, 2021

He's still fearmongering that Americans need weapons of war to defend themselves if a disaster causes a societal breakdown.But it's his job to help ensure disasters don't cause societal breakdowns.And to help avoid mass murders.#EndGunViolence https://t.co/ZCdO34RprP

— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) April 1, 2021

And in 2018, this assault weapon was used to murder Joaquin Oliver and 16 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.And in Boulder, Orlando, Las Vegas, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Waffle House, San Bernardino, Midland/Odessa, Poway Synagogue, Sutherland Springs, Tree of Life Synagogue… https://t.co/bTJWKRg9BE

— Change the Ref (@ChangeTheRef) April 1, 2021

The AR15 is the Sandy Hook weapon, you pathetic ghoul. https://t.co/IaO8PgnQCp

— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) April 1, 2021

We shouldn’t enact laws that criminals will just end up breaking anyway! Wait I am a lawmaker and just undermined the entire existence of laws, shoot

— Harry (@DocEgonSpengler) April 1, 2021

FACT CHECK: Entirely false. When the federal assault weapon ban was in effect (1994-2004), America saw a:— 37% decline in gun massacres— 70% decline in assault weapons traced to gun crimes In the decade after the ban expired, fatalities in gun massacres went up by 347%. https://t.co/92biHfuiAH

— Kris Brown | President, bradyunited.org (@KrisB_Brown) April 2, 2021 RELATED… GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert Tweeted About April Fools' Day But The Joke Was On Her GOP Gov. Kristi Noem’s Hot Take On Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Goes Down In Flames Fox News Lets Ex-Trump Aide Spew Fauci Conspiracy Theory With Zero Pushback Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lindsey-graham-assault-rifle-photo-op-backlash_n_6066fe44c5b6832c793628a1

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