News & Politics

Man Pulls a Gun on Sam's Club Customer Wearing MAGA Hat

Man wears a hat with President President Donald Trump's campaign slogan (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

A Tennessee man was arrested Saturday after pulling a gun on a Sam’s Club customer who was wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat, WBKO 13 News reported Sunday night.

The victim, Terry Pierce, said the man stuck the gun in his face because he was wearing a MAGA hat.

“I have as much right to wear that hat and support my country and my president as he has not to,” said Pierce.

The suspect, identified as James Phillips, admitted to flipping off Pierce and his wife because of their hats, according to the police report.

Pierce told 13 News that he and his wife were shopping when Phillips “pulled a .40 caliber out and stuck it in my face, backed up and said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die.'”

Pierce continued:  “I said, ‘Then pull the trigger. Put the gun down and fight me or pull the trigger. Whichever one you want.’ And he backed up and he said it again, he said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die.'”

Pierce said Phillips then fled the store and he followed him out into the parking lot.

“I went out the front of the store to confront him again and that’s when I got him in his car. He couldn’t leave because his mother was still in the store. And we were having a verbal altercation outside,” said Pierce.

According to Pierce, Phillips then tried to make himself out to be the victim. “He tried telling me I assaulted him and I said, ‘I never touched you.'”

Surveillance video from the store shows that Pierce did not put his hands on Phillips, according to the police report.

There was no surveillance video showing Phillips pulling his gun on Pierce because he was out of camera range, but witnesses backed up Pierce’s allegation.

In the report, police say Phillips had a Glock .40 caliber with a round chambered in his back pocket and two additional magazines in another pocket. Police say Phillips has a current concealed carry permit in Tennessee, where he is from.

No one was injured, but police arrested Phillips for wanton endangerment first degree. Phillips is in the Warren County Regional Jail.

This comes on the heels of several high-profile incidents involving Trump supporters that were seized by the media to make the president’s supporters look bad.

Last month in Washington, D.C., Covington Catholic High School boys wearing MAGA hats were accused of bullying Native American activists after participating in the March for Life. The nationwide media frenzy that ensued led to hundreds of death threats against the kids and the high school. Video evidence shows that the boys were, in fact, targeted by the Native American activists and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who were hurling all sorts of offensive slurs at them. An independent investigation of the incident determined that the boys had done nothing wrong.

In late January, Empire actor Jussie Smollett claimed to be the victim of a hate crime in Chicago perpetrated by Trump supporters who beat him up, yelling, “This is MAGA country!” While still under investigation, that incident has been all but proven to be an elaborate hoax.

And at President Trump’s El Paso rally last week, an unhinged man wearing a MAGA hat reportedly shoved a BBC reporter in the media area. He was quickly ushered out of the building but not arrested. While probably a Trump supporter, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he was actually a left-wing infiltrator, as his name has not been released to the public. The media, of course, reported on the incident like it was the crime of the century.

Whatever happened in El Paso, stories painting Trump supporters as racist, hateful rednecks are inaccurate and unfair. The vast majority are decent, patriotic Americans who voted for Trump because they didn’t want another president coming to power just to manage the country’s decline as Obama did for eight years. It’s not a symbol of anything but people wanting to see the country made great again.

Yet left-wing politicians and commentators have taken to demonizing Trump’s base and calling the MAGA hat a symbol of hatred and intolerance.

During an interview Sunday with Salon, “scholar” Matt Sears compared MAGA hats to Ku Klux Klan robes, suggesting they will one day become shameful family secrets.

After the Salon interviewer compared MAGA hats to “Nazi paraphernalia,” Sears said, ” I think a better analogy would be like finding a Ku Klux Klan hood or robe. I’ve made the comparison before. Every time I watch a documentary about the civil rights movement and all the hateful violence they faced I wonder what the white people who were doing those horrible things were thinking. What was going through their minds?”

We are living in an era with Donald Trump and the Republican Party and the right-wing movement in America where things of similar gravity are happening. It’s our job to not be the people who stand by idly and let mobs harass black kids who in an earlier era not too long ago were trying to go to newly desegregated schools. In a few generations from now, finding a MAGA hat in your grandparents’ closet would be like seeing your grandfather’s or grandmother’s face in one of those lunch counter photos, harassing the black people who are trying to fight Jim Crow and win their equal human rights.

Thanks to hateful and irresponsible rhetoric like that, Trump’s supporters are being attacked all over the country.

In just the past year, Trump supporters have had drinks thrown on them, been banned from restaurants, been publicly shamed and ridiculed, been beaten, and now been threatened with a gun. And that doesn’t include the largely unreported attacks against Trump supporters that spiked in the days and weeks after the 2016 election.

Unfortunately, because there’s little chance that left-wing ideologues in the media and academia will moderate their rhetoric, these attacks are likely to continue long into the foreseeable future.