State Rep. Candice Keller — Photo: Ohio House of Representatives
A Republican lawmaker in Ohio has blamed “transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates” for mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 29 people dead.
Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller took to Facebook in the wake of the shootings to blame “liberals,” LGBTQ people, and a host of progressive or left-wing policies and stances for the “breakdown of the traditional American family,” which she believed to be the root cause of the problem.
Her post was published just hours after the Dayton shooting, which took place 25 miles from her Middletown district in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Dayton Daily News reports.
“After every mass shooting, the liberals start the blame game,” Keller wrote in the since-deleted post, which was screenshotted and reshared on social media. “Why not place the blame where it belongs? The breakdown of the traditional American family (thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates).”
Keller also blamed violent video games, legal marijuana, “open borders,” former President Barack Obama, athletes who “hate our flag and National Anthem,” Democratic members of Congress, and “the culture, which totally ignores the importance of God and the church.”
The one demographic Keller failed to blame was white nationalists. Last year, white supremacists were to blame for more extremist killings than any other group.
Keller was quickly and harshly criticized for her post by both Democrats and her fellow Republicans.
The Washington Post reports that conservatives are even urging Keller to resign over the post.
“It’s an embarrassment,” Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones, a Republican, told the Post. “It’s shameful. It does not reflect our party, our community, or the people who are hurting right now. She only left out people who look like her.”
In a statement, Butler County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall said he could not “condone such comment and behavior” and criticized Keller for trying to “politicize” the shooting.
Butler County Democratic Party Chairman Brian Hester called Keller “fundamentally unfit for office.”
“She loves to fan the flames and play the role of victim here, not the nine people who were killed,” Hester said. “She is fundamentally unfit for office. She is an embarrassment to her party, to conservatives, to Butler County and to the state Legislature.”
Speaking to the Dayton Daily News, Keller defended herself by saying she had posted comment son her private, personal Facebook page.
She reportedly called the shootings tragic, stunning and alarming while speaking with the Daily News, but also said that people try to blame mass shootings on the 2nd Amendment.
“There needs to be a time for healing before we lash out at the Constitution and one another,” she said.