Gun-rights lobbyist duped into promoting pistols for tots

Gun-rights lobbyist duped into promoting pistols for tots

Sacha Baron Cohen arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California, in March 2018. Cohen stars in the new Showtime series "Who Is America?", which premiered Sunday, July 15. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) RICHMOND, Va. – One of Virginia’s top gun-rights lobbyists drew criticism from his own supporters Monday after he was duped into promoting guns for children as young as 3 and hawking toys such as a teddy bear with a concealed pistol on a television show. Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), was among numerous public figures pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen on his new series "Who Is America?" The creator of Borat and Ali G, characters who conduct outrageous interviews with unsuspecting politicians, burned up social media on Sunday with footage of current and former members of Congress speaking enthusiastically of arming children. But no one went further than Van Cleave, who appeared with Cohen – who was disguised as an Israeli security expert named Col. Erran Morad – in a Nickelodeon-style segment called "Kinderguardians." Holding a "Puppy Pistol" toy, which looks like a pistol inserted into a stuffed dog, Van Cleave explains how to load an ammunition clip: "To feed him, take his lunch box and push it into his tummy like this. Just remember to point Puppy Pistol’s mouth right at the middle of the bad man. If he has a big fat tummy, point at that." That’s one of several "Gunimals" toys that Van […]

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