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GOP Sen. Mike Rounds Slammed After Making Bizarre Threat Against Biden Over Gun Reform

GOP Sen. Mike Rounds Slammed After Making Bizarre Threat Against Biden Over Gun Reform
Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A GOP lawmaker is being intensely criticized after a bizarre tweet toward Democratic President Joe Biden, which many people interpreted as a threat.

South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds posted the tweet earlier today as a challenge to the President over his recent statements in favor of gun regulations.

After mere hours, the post had already gone viral for its menacing tone. Many questioned whether the underlying intent of the tweet was a thinly veiled death threat.

The tweet was presumably in response to comments Biden made on Tuesday in favor of gun safety reform in the wake of this week's mass shooting in Colorado and last week's in Atlanta.

The tweet featured a photograph of a statue of Rounds that stands in the South Dakota capital of Pierre as part of an exhibit in the city called The Trail of Governors. Rounds stands beside his dog holding a rifle aloft, gripping it just below the trigger as if ready to point it.

The caption, directed at President Biden, said:

"Hey @JoeBiden - come and take it. Careful, she bites too."

It's worth noting that a hunting rifle like Rounds carries in the statue is not an assault weapon and would not be subject to the legislation Biden mentioned on Tuesday.

That aside, the tweet was bizarre on several levels, starting with the fact that Rounds' dog appears to be licking his crotch in the statue, and that Rounds was apparently challenging Joe Biden to some kind of stand-off with a statue.

But far more bracing was the tweet's subtext, which many saw as a threat to shoot the President of the United States if he were to try to pass legislation regulating gun ownership. That is, after all, the meaning of right wingers' beloved "Come and take it" gun rights slogan―a sort of dare to brave being shot at.

On Twitter, many people were deeply disturbed.

Others couldn't help but roll their eyes at Rounds' failed―and very weird―attempt at bravado.

Along with expanded background checks for gun buyers, which even most Republicans support, Biden proposed on Tuesday a nationwide assault weapons ban and restrictions on high capacity magazines for firearms. Neither law would have any impact on hunting rifles like the one Rounds is holding in his statue.