Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he will continue to bring his replica Browning machine gun to parades, despite the public outcry following his appearance Saturday in a Shawnee parade.
He also said a pastor's complaints represent the "fringe left" attempt to make guns socially unacceptable.
Kobach, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, made his remarks Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends," answering questions about criticism of his decision to strap the replica gun to his Jeep in the community parade. City officials have said they will take steps to prevent such a display in future parades.
"I think it's a sad state of affairs when the overwhelming majority of Americans like patriotic images like that, have no problem with firearms," Kobach said. "But then when a city in a politically correct, knee-jerk reaction says, 'Oh, there are a few people who are tweeting on the far left, we better make them happy.' You know, look: Life is not about making people happy with every image that you portray."
Kobach told host Brian Kilmeade he will "be taking it to other parades, as well."
Pastor Johnny Lewis, of Shawnee Community Christian Church, said on Facebook the gun was a shocking sight his child didn't need to see. Kobach said the audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive and dismissed Lewis' concerns.
"Last time I checked," Kobach said, "just about every parade in America features men with guns — whether it's the color guard carrying guns or replica military vehicles or real military vehicles. That's kind of what parades are all about. And I think his Tweet [sic] represents the fringe left, which is now trying to make guns socially unacceptable."