President Barack Obama

When it comes to his policies favoring gun control, President Obama is being compared to some of the most reviled names in history, including dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il.

California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican candidate for governor, tweeted a message Tuesday featuring an image contrasting what he said were famous names who championed gun rights with those who have backed gun control.

“These people stood for gun rights,” the image states, with portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

But when it comes to those who “stood for gun control,” the names and faces include Hitler, Stalin, Kim, King George III of England, China’s Mao Zedong and Barack Obama.

“Which side would you choose?” Donnelly said in his Twitter message he billed as a “history lesson.”

When contacted by the Associated Press Tuesday, Donnelly did not buckle in his stance, telling AP he was standing up for the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which he said recognizes an “unalienable right to defend your life.”

“When government becomes the greatest threat to the very rights it was formed to protect, that is tyranny,” he said in a written statement. “Tyranny is the daily purpose of dictators, and I will not apologize for pointing out that our current president acts more like a dictator than a leader of a free people in a Constitutional Republic.”

The Los Angeles Times reports Donnelly has made expansion of gun rights “a central part of his platform, aligning himself with advocates who view gun regulations as a dangerous form of government overreach.”

State Assembleyman Tim Donnelly, R-Calif.

Donnelly’s remarks on Tuesday drew harsh reaction from Tenoch Flores, spokesman for the California Democratic Party.

“It’s despicable and more than anything shows the degree to which this Republican gubernatorial candidate lives in an alternate universe populated by right-wing tea party delusions,” Flores told the Times.

But California’s Republican Party was silent, as spokesman Mark Standriff declined comment, telling AP the party “will not get involved in a discussion between primary candidates in a contested race.”

Ironically, firearms have actually created some legal trouble for Donnelly in the past.

The lawmaker from San Bernadino County was placed on probation for three years after taking a handgun to an airport in January 2012.

Donnelly said at the time he had accidentally left the weapon, which he “never got around” to registering, in his briefcase.

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