Congressional Candidate Shoots Self: Anti-Muslim Activist Is Challenging Debbie Wasserman Schultz | The Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Congressional Candidate Shoots Self: Anti-Muslim Activist Is Challenging Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Republican congressional candidate Joe Kaufman loves him some Second Amendment, and if he wants to look in the mirror and play with his gun, daggummit, that's his right. He exercised that right last November — and shot himself in the finger, as first reported by Gossip Extra.

"Don't go thinking I tried to commit suicide," he told the website. "I didn't know there was a bullet in the chamber. I was careless. It became a teaching moment for me, but it won't stop me from supporting the right to bear arms."

The bullet, after its encounter with Kaufman's finger, went through the bathroom wall and got stuck in a bedroom wall. He wasn't charged with anything.

The Republican, who is challenging Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in this fall's election, added that "I use my guns for protection" and said he sometimes wears a bulletproof vest to public appearances.

Kaufman has good reason to suspect people don't really like him: His anti-Muslim group, Americans Against Hate, was wholly lampooned by the Daily Show With Jon Stewart in January in a segment that featured Kaufman unable to define the word "against."

He's made a political career based exclusively on persecuting Muslims — a Florida chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State even gave him an award for "his consistent record of trashing everything Muslim with a broad brush of innuendo, association, and excessive rhetoric." He also criticized the Broward Sheriff's Office for having the nerve to meet with South Florida Muslim leaders because "organizations connected to terrorism and bigotry should have no place in law enforcement and no place in society, as they are a danger to society." There's also a narrative being pushed by Kaufman and Tea Party leaders that he's somehow more Jewish than Wasserman Schultz.

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Rich Abdill

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