The President’s son posed with an assault rifle that referenced the Crusades and the Hillary Clinton “lock her up!” meme on Sunday. Normal stuff.
Donald Trump Jr. posted a photo of the gun on Instagram, showing off the details of the weapon he said came from Rare Breed Firearms. The company sells lower receivers for the massively popular AR-15 rifle.
“Inspired by some of the most fierce warriors who fought in nearly 200 years of epic conflicts known as the Crusades,” a description from the company reads. “This lower honors the warrior mindset. Technology evolves, warriors never change.”
The “Hillary for Prison” magazine, sold by Spike’s Tactical, shows Clinton peering out from behind prison bars. The product riffs on the “lock her up!” chant Trump popularized as a 2016 candidate for president. It’s since become an all-purpose meme, applied to other rivals of Trump’s like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
The receiver, which features a Jerusalem Cross, resembles the “great helm” helmets worn by Christian soldiers as they went to battle in the Middle East. A Rare Breed Firearms video introducing the product a year ago featured audio of solemn Latin chanting. The company also sells Crusader shirts and stickers.
Trump’s intent with the “Crusader” gun is unclear, but imagery from the Crusades has been used by far-right and Christian nationalist groups for decades.
As Josephine Livingstone noted in The New Republic last year, “the chivalric paraphernalia of the Crusades has been repurposed by Trump-supporting hate groups, while rightwing terrorists, from Anders Behring Breivik to the Christchurch shooter, have used their manifestos to bemoan Muslim ‘invasions’ of white culture. The KKK’s newsletter is called The Crusader.”
At least one Trump administration official declared her admiration for the Trump scion’s gun — Lynne Patton, the top Housing and Urban Development official for New York and New Jersey. She previously cheered Don Jr. on after he mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
“🤣🤣🤣 #LockHerUp” Patton commented on the instagram post.