GOP Congressmember Barry Moore—He Has One Big Love Affair With the AR-15 March 1, 2023
Why should any of us be surprised? “Political Wackos of a Feather Flock Together.” On 2/21/2023, Alabama GOP Congressmember Barry Moore and three other co-sponsors, Reps. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and NY’s George Santos (R-Imposter) introduced a bill in the GOP-House “To declare an AR-15 style rifle chambered in a .223 Remington round or a 5.56 x 45 mm NATO round to be the National Gun of the United States (americanindependent.com, Singer, E., 2/23/23).” With the debt ceiling, the budget, and other major matters facing Congress, here is the key issue this extremist gang wants to emphasize. Cong. Moore tweeted, “Today, I unveiled my bill to make the AR-15 the National Gun of America. We must send a message that we will meet every attack on any of our constitutional rights (Singer, americanindependent.com).” Cong. Moore and his co-sponsors are sure sending a message.” The message? To praise a gun used in the mass shootings at the elementary school in Uvalde, TX in 5/2022 and at a 2022 July 4th parade in Highland Park, IL. AR-15 style rifles were also used in the 2/2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, at the Pittsburgh, PA Tree of Life synagogue in 10/2018, at the 10/2017 Las Vegas country music festival, and at the Newtown, CT Sandy Hook Elementary school in 12/2012. When Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) bill to ban assault weapons was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on 9/13/1994, which was to last for a period of 10 years, mass shootings fatalities were 70% less likely to occur (The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery). After the ban was lifted, increases in mass shootings occurred (emeraldgrouppublishing.com). Since this ban expired, GOPers in Congress, backed by the NRA (National Rifle Association), have refused to renew it. Some GOP Congressmembers proudly walk around with AR-15 pins on their lapels, an action that rightfully horrifies CA Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla and many others (americanindependent.com, Singer).
Cong. George Santos, or whoever he is, has, obviously signed on to this bill to get MAGA right wing support that will keep him in the House and obtain funds for his 2024 re-election campaign. Lauren Boebert, before her 2020 election to the House, ran a restaurant in Rifle, CO called “Shooters Grill.” In this restaurant, servers packed pistols in holsters on their hips. In July, 2022 this restaurant closed after the building’s owners decided not to renew the lease. A Mexican eatery (take that Cong. Boebert and Demagogue Donald) will replace the “Shooters Grill (huffpost.com, Moran, L., 2/25/23).” The third co-sponsor of this awful AR-15 bill, Cong. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), was fined $5,000 for bypassing newly-installed metal detectors that former Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) put in front of the entrance to the House chamber after the 1/06/2021 assault on the Capitol (nbcnews.com, Clark, Moe, & Talbot, 2/05/21). Clyde was a gun store owner before he won election to Congress (AP, 5/29/10). When the GOP narrowly took control of the House in 1/2023, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) removed those metal detectors (usatoday.com, Quarshie & Tran, 1/09/23). Let’s meet the key sponsor of this “I love the AR-15” bill, Barry Moore.
Second-term GOP Congressmember Barry Moore (56) currently represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District (CD). A native of Enterprise, AL, he grew up in Coffee County, AL. He attended community college in Enterprise and received a BS from AL’s Auburn University in 1992. At Auburn, Moore enlisted in the National Guard (alamedicine.org, Flack, C., 12/21/20, yellowhammernews.com, Thornton, H., 2/13/20). Moore became a member of the Army Ranger Challenge Team and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program (Cohen & Cook, 2022 Political Almanac). In 1998, Moore founded Barry Moore Industries, a waste hauling firm, now known as Hopper-Moore-Inc (southeastsun.com, Mann, M., 12/09/20). He started this business with just a single garbage truck, but his firm prospered. In 2018, Moore assisted Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle in rebuilding its facilities after it was hit by Hurricane Michael (Cohen & Cook 2022).
Moore won a seat in the AL State House in 2010 and served there until 2018. He became chair of the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee where he authored legislation that brought the F-35 Fighter Squadron to an Air National Guard base in Montgomery, AL. He sponsored legislation to protect military families (Cohen & Cook 2022). In 2014, Moore was indicted for perjury and making false statements to a grand jury that was investigating the AL State House Speaker Mike Hubbard. Hubbard was convicted on multiple ethics charges, but Moore was found not guilty on all four counts with which he had been charged (Cohen & Cook 2022 Almanac).
In 2018, Moore unsuccessfully ran against rising GOP star 5th-term incumbent Cong. Martha Roby in the GOP congressional primary. Moore bragged that he was the first elected official in the nation to endorse Donald’s presidential campaign in 2015. In super-“Red” AL, being for Demagogue Donald constitutes a “bigly” badge of honor. Trump handily carried AL in both 2016 and 2020 by margins of 28% and 25% respectively. In 2016, Donald trounced Hillary by 31 points in the AL 2nd , 64%-33%. In 2020, Trump clobbered Biden in the 2nd CD by a similar margin, 29 points, 64%-35% (Cohen & Cook 2022). In 2020, Roby, after Moore attacked her for having the “nerve” to previously criticize Donald a bit, decided not to run again. In the 2020 GOP congressional primary and subsequent runoff, Moore spoke of his early support of Donald at a rally with him in Mobile. Moore stated, “Faith, family, finance, and freedom are the fundamentals that guide all aspects of his life.” In a race decided by who was the “Trumpier,” Moore won the primary runoff by 20 percentage points (Cohen & Cook 2022). He pulverized his Democratic rival in 11/2020 by 30 points (Cohen & Cook 2022). He was easily re-elected in 11/2022 by 44 points (118th Cong. At Your Fingertips, Early Guide).
In the House, Cong. Moore is one right-wing hardliner. He has voted in line with Pres. Biden’s position just 6% of the time (Bycoffe & Wiederkehr, 10/22/21, projects fivethirtyeight.com). On 1/06/2021, Moore objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results that declared Democrat Biden the winner. On 1/07/2021, Cong. Moore was one of the 147 House GOPers who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election after the Capitol had been stormed in the Trump-incited 1/06/2021 attempted coup (Yourish, Buchanan, & Lu, nytimes.com, 1/07/21). On 1/10/21, Moore drew criticism for two posts on his personal Twitter account. One of them stated the false claim that the 11/03/2020 election had been “stolen.” A second tweet stated that the killing of rioter Ashli Babbitt by a black officer shooting her “doesn’t fit the narrative.” Twitter temporarily suspended Rep. Moore’s account. Moore deactivated this account and alleged “censorship of conservative voices.” Moore’s official government Twitter account, however, remained unaffected (al.com/news, Specker, L., 1/11/21). In 2/2021, Cong. Moore voted against Biden’s key American Rescue Plan, which he called a “Blue state bailout.” In that same month, Moore co-signed Cong. Bob Good’s (R-VA) “Right to Earn A Living Act.” This legislation would make state and local governments that implemented pandemic-related stay-at-home orders ineligible for funding through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (yellowhammernews.com, Thornton, H., 2/18/21, barrymoore.house.gov). In 3/2021, Cong. Moore was one of 21 House GOPers to vote against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the 1/06/2021 attempted coup (Grayer, A. & Wilson, K., 6/16/21, cnn.com).
In foreign affairs, Cong. Moore was one of 14 House Republicans to vote against condemning the coup d’etat in Myanmar (formerly Burma) that overwhelmingly passed that chamber (cnn.com, Diaz, D. & Wilson, K., 3/19/21). In 7/2021, Cong. Moore voted against the bipartisan ALLIES Act which overwhelmingly passed the House 407-16. That bill increased by 8,000 the number of special immigrant visas for allies of the U.S. military during its invasion of Afghanistan including interpreters. This legislation reduced application requirements that caused long backlogs. However, when the Taliban retook Afghanistan in 8/2021, Moore called the U.S. withdrawal from that country “a painful betrayal of our Afghan allies (Quarshie, M., usatoday.com, 8/17/21).” Moore hypocritically talks big about aiding Afghanistan, but did not want to help rescue many of those who helped us there. In the GOP House, Moore sits on the Agriculture and Veterans’ Affairs Committees that can aid his district (Gaston, F., 6/09/21, unionspringsherald.com).
The AL 2nd CD lies in the southeast corner of this Heart of Dixie state. It includes 14 counties. The metropolitan area of Montgomery is part of the 2nd but the more heavily Black precincts of this capital city are not in this district. The 2nd extends to the rural Wiregrass region, named for the type of stiff grass that grows there. The fishing town of Eufaula is part of the 2nd. Timber is important in the 2nd as well as agriculture in general. Peanuts have replaced cotton as the main crop and the town of Dothan calls itself the “peanut capital of the world.” Dothan is home of the Wayne Farms chicken processing plant which handles 1.3 million chickens weekly. Hyundai Motors built its first U.S. plant in southwest Montgomery. Coffee County which, as previously noted, contains the town of Enterprise, Cong. Moore’s birthplace, is in the 2nd. Military bases are important as well. The 2nd includes the Army’s Fort Rucker, home of Army aviation flight training as well as Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the Montgomery area’s largest employer (Cohen & Cook 2022). Politically, this area started going GOP as early as the 1950’s and today, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+17, is one of the most GOP districts in both AL and the nation (See wiki & Cohen & Cook 2022). Extremist AR-15-loving Cong. Moore can keep easily getting re-elected in the AL 2nd. However, if Democrats want to pass major legislation to help most Americans and not have the House engage in useless stunts praising deadly assault weapons, they must come out in droves to recapture the House in 2024. Cong. Moore and his “Team Red” allies will then be irrelevant back-benchers.