Donald Trump supporters have no trouble constantly perpetrating violence against those around them. Both threats of and acts of violence have continued to be carried out by Trump supporters since the start of his campaign in 2015. In the latest incident of violence invoked by alleged Trump supporters, a man shot a woman with a BB gun after she removed what she thought was a prank “Trump 2020” sign from her brother’s yard. The alleged neighbor who shot her now faces charges of misdemeanor assault, WSOC reported.
“(I felt) pain in my arm and I looked up and I heard this gentleman yelling at me,” Peggy Fox, the woman told WSOC. Fox allegedly mistook a neighbor’s yard for her brother’s while visiting him in North Carolina on Thursday. Because her brother never expressed his political views she said, she removed the Trump sign from the yard assuming it was a prank. She told the local news outlet she was shot without any warning. “It was very frightening. Extremely frightening,” Fox said.
In response to why he shot Fox, the neighbor claimed he was protecting his property. Identified as 76-year-old Worth McAllister, the man told WSOC that he used a BB gun he bought to use on stray cats in his yard. Despite allegations that he shot without warning, he claimed that he warned Fox. “You defend your property and you end up getting charged,” McAllister said.
Fox told the local news outlet that while she had no issue with the sign itself, she knew it wasn’t her brother’s and exact property lines were unclear for her to know it belonged to a neighbor. She added that she would have put the sign back had McAllister told her it was his property. What terrified Fox the most she said was McAllister believing his actions were justified. When she threatened to call the police McAllister encouraged her to do so believing he did not do anything wrong. “He actually believed he could shoot me if I was on his property and, to me, that’s terrifying,” Fox said.
According to WSOC, McAllister acknowledged he willingly shot Fox but noted that he meant to in the backside not in her arm. He also mentioned that he himself was thinking about filing charges against her for attempted theft, but is unable to do so until his assault case is heard. McAllister’s court date is set for November. The BB gun pellet is still lodged in Fox’s arm.
Fox credited widespread political divisiveness across the country as contributing to the problem. “I think it speaks to the political conditions and it’s really, really sad. I just wish people would talk,” she said.
While the man has not publically identified as a Trump supporter, violence in the name of Trump has plagued the country for years and has increased over time particularly amid the pandemic. Instead of condemning the violence, Trump has repeatedly encouraged his supporters to not only use hate speech but physical violence if they wish. “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” Trump said at a 2016 rally in Iowa. “Seriously, OK. Just knock the hell — I promise you I will pay for the legal fees, I promise.” As of 2015, at least 50 crimes were committed involving Trump supporters that either declared “an allegiance” to Trump before committing the crime or announced their inspiration to commit the act or threaten an individual came from Trump. While those crimes have been compiled by news outlets as directly linked to Trump’s use of hate speech, many others continue on a daily basis with minorities predominately as the target.