THINK BEFORE YOU SHOOT…. In South Florida, members of the Southeast Broward Republican Club gathered at a gun range this week, armed with handguns and assault rifles. Club president Ed Napolitano said the purpose for the local GOP was to have fun, educate members, and send a political message.

Message delivered.

Though most of the targets of gunfire were standard gun-range fare — large silhouettes of a human figure — a few shooters used large color posters instead. They depicted a menacing figure, adorned in a kaffiyeh, the kind of headdress worn by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The person in the picture was holding a rocket-propelled grenade.

One of the shooters at the Tuesday evening event was Robert Lowry, a Republican candidate hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston. Lowry’s target had the letters “DWS” next to the silhouette head.

Lowry said he didn’t know who wrote Wasserman Schultz’ initials on his target, but said he knew they were there before he started shooting. He initially described it as a “joke,” but after answering several questions he said it “was a mistake” to use a target labeled “DWS.”

Um, yeah.

The DCCC’s Ryan Rudominer added, “It’s exactly this extremist and sexist behavior from the Republican Party of No that has redefined what it means to be outdated and out-of-touch.”

When it comes to the practical, political implications, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a dominant political figure in South Florida, and Lowry never had a realistic chance of winning this race in a solidly-“blue” district. That he deliberately fired at a “DWS” silhouette only ensures his humiliating defeat.

But electoral considerations aside, this really is beyond the pale. Democrats are anxious to characterize Republicans as having gone around the right-wing bend, and as it turns out, some Republicans seem willing to help the Dems’ efforts.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.