Puppy Pistol returns? Activists remind Va. lawmakers of prank that ensnared gun lobbyist

Puppy Pistol returns? Activists remind Va. lawmakers of prank that ensnared gun lobbyist

Gun Rights

Philip Van Cleave (left), president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, participated in a satirical pro-gun children’s show in the first episode of the new TV series “Who Is America?” by prankster Sacha Baron Cohen (right). The eight members of the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County hadn’t turned their stuffed puppies into pistols the way prankster Sacha Baron Cohen did last year when he tricked Virginia’s top gun lobbyist into participating in a satirical TV segment that endorsed arming preschoolers. But they wanted to make sure state lawmakers remember that it happened and warn them how it might look if they continue to ally themselves with the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League. Attached to each of the 150 stuffed animals was a card that replaced the rifle-carrying minuteman in VCDL’s logo with an image of the "Puppy Pistol" that VCDL President Philip Van Cleave held in the first episode of Baron Cohen’s TV series "Who Is America?" The card included instructions to go to YouTube and search for "Gunimals." The Liberal Women of Chesterfield County sprang up following President Donald Trump’s election, and spent much of last year organizing to defeat then- Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th. As the activists made the rounds among lawmakers’ offices, they dropped off the animals and told anyone who would listen that lawmakers should "tune out" the pro-gun fringes and listen to people who don’t think firearms being around small children is something to laugh about. "He was pushing it as a product that […]

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