There are few things in life that large failson Donald J. Trump Jr. loves more than guns and the idea of putting Hillary Clinton behind bars. Now, we can add killing Muslims in a holy war to that list.
On Monday, Don Jr. posted a series of Instagram photos in which he’s holding an assault rifle complete not only with a magazine decorated with an image of Hillary Clinton behind bars, but an image of the cross—one large cross surrounded by four smaller crosses, or a Jerusalem cross—that was a symbol embraced by Christians during the Crusades. Certainly interesting timing for Don Jr. to be posing proudly with a gun emblazoned with a symbol many associate with a religious war against Muslims!
Lest one missed the symbolism on this firearm, Don Jr. also included a closeup of the rifle, which shares that it’s part of the manufacturer Rare Breed Firearms’ “Crusader” line.
The Jerusalem cross is not only a symbol of a bygone religious war, as the historian Dan Jones told the Washington Post—Crusade-related symbols have also been embraced by everyone from white supremacists like those who attended the Charlottesville protests as well as mass shooters targeting Muslims. Jones described Don Jr.’s post as “inflammatory,” which is certainly one way to put it.
“This is not what you put on a gun unless you’re saying Christians have a right to kill people who aren’t one of us,” University of Notre Dame professor Robin M. Jensen told the Post.
Spike’s Tactical, the maker of the “Hillary for Prison” magazine, also sells a “3 Percenter” magazine, a reference to the far-right movement whose members have been involved in plots to bomb mosques and participated in white supremacist rallies, as well as a magazine endorsing waterboarding. In case the beliefs of its makers as well as the gun manufacturer’s intended audience aren’t obvious, Spike’s Tactical also sells a “Crusader” rifle, emblazoned with the Bible verse, “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle,” and which it markets on its website with the phrase, “The war is here. We have a duty to defend our homeland and our way of life.” In 2015, when Spike’s Tactical debuted that rifle, which a spokesperson explained was “designed to never be used by Muslim terrorists” and I can only assume was thus meant to be used by white supremacist domestic terrorists, it drew immediate condemnation from groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The Washington Post notes that Don Jr., despite his enthusiasm for guns, is doing quite a few things wrong in his Instagram photo:
In the Instagram photo, Trump Jr. poses with the rifle with the safety off and the selector switch on fire. Firearm safety norms discourage taking the safety off unless a weapon is pointed down range at a target and ready to be fired, which he is not doing in the photo. The bolt is pulled to the rear in one photo, and it is unclear whether there is any ammunition in the magazine, though it is probably empty. Trump Jr.’s finger is off the trigger.
Don Jr., continuing to be a very dumb, incredibly bigoted and sexist man in 2020.