Two Texas men who took down attackers in separate high-profile church shootings criticized Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's support for strict new gun-control measures in an ad the National Rifle Association released Tuesday.
Stephen Willeford, who used his AR-15 to end the Sutherland Springs church attack in which 26 people were murdered, and Jack Wilson, who shot and killed an attacker who had murdered two at the West Freeway Church of Christ, slammed Biden's gun plan.
Recent Stories in 2020 Election
In the video, the pair condemn the former vice president's proposals as "insane," saying Biden will "make the Second Amendment extinct." They critique Biden's support for a ban on guns such as the popular AR-15 and on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. They also take issue with Biden's comments criticizing the right to carry guns in church—the very thing the men believe helped them save lives.
"Biden's dream is to leave us all defenseless against criminals," Wilson says.
The NRA ad has already garnered more than 1.4 million views in less than 24 hours, making it one of the most successful videos of the 2020 cycle. If the pair of real-world "good guys with a gun" can persuade more gun voters to turn out in next week's election, the ad may have a significant impact on the presidential race.
"No one illustrates what's at stake better than these two heroes who saved dozens of lives because they were able to own firearms and legally carry those firearms outside their homes," NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter told the Washington Free Beacon. "This video breaks down exactly what the Biden/Harris catastrophic plan would mean for self-defense laws in our country and for American gun owners."
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the nearly six-minute video, Willeford and Wilson critique Biden's gun-control proposals issue by issue.
Among other things, the pair point to Biden's plan to ban the sale of some of the most popular firearms in the country and require current owners to register them, pay a $200 tax stamp per item, sell them to the government for an undetermined amount, or face felony charges. The same plan would apply to ammunition magazines that currently come standard with most semi-automatic handguns and rifles.
The pair say the cost of Biden's plan, which would apply to tens of millions of firearms and magazines, would be enormous.
"That's tens of billions of dollars of taxes on law-abiding gun owners," Wilson says. "He wants to make gun ownership only affordable to the elite. … If you want to buy a new semi-automatic rifle, you're out of luck if Biden's in charge."
Willeford bristles at Biden's 2017 assertion that he shouldn't have been allowed to be carrying the AR-15 he used to stop the Sutherland Springs killer from attacking and fleeing the area before police responded.
"If it was Hunter Biden and your wife and family sitting in those pews at that church," he asks the Democratic nominee, "would you still want me not to have this gun to protect them with?"
Wilson similarly takes offense at Biden's 2018 criticism of the Texas law that allowed him to carry a gun in church on the day he returned fire against an attacker. Biden called the idea of allowing licensed gun owners to carry inside churches "absolutely irrational."
"You know what Joe told me? That I shouldn't have been armed in that church," Wilson says. "The fact is, the only thing that will keep us safe in times of evil are our guns. Evil will always exist."
The pair say Biden's repeated insistence that police should try to shoot dangerous suspects in the leg as a form of deescalation—an idea police training experts have criticized—is impractical. They also say outlawing unchecked private gun transfers could put people in danger and decry Biden's embrace of former presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who promised to seize Americans' guns.
Willeford and Wilson conclude the video by saying President Donald Trump, whom the NRA has backed with tens of millions of dollars in election spending, is correct to warn that Biden will "obliterate" the Second Amendment.
"Don't let Joe Biden disarm you this November," Willeford says before the video ends on a shot of Wilson using a flame thrower to burn down a sign that reads "gun control."