Ohio House of Representatives
- Ohio Republican state Rep. Candice Keller blamed two mass shootings that occurred over the past weekend on everything from gay marriage to marijuana in a now-deleted Facebook post.
- A shooter killed 22 people and injured 24 others in an attack on an El Paso, Texas Walmart, and another gunman is suspected of killing nine people and wounding 27 others in Dayton, Ohio in the early hours of Sunday morning.
- In her post, Keller baselessly attributed mass shootings to factors including "the breakdown of the traditional American family," recreational marijuana use, video games, and former President Barack Obama.
- Ohio’s Republican attorney general Dave Yost rebuked Keller’s Facebook post on Twitter, writing, "no, m’am. The blame belongs to the evil man who killed those people."
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Ohio Republican state Rep. Candice Keller became a trending topic on Twitter and was widely condemned on Monday for writing a now-deleted Facebook post that blamed two mass shootings that occurred over the past weekend on everything from gay marriage to marijuana.
On Saturday, a gunman killed 22 and injured 24 people after opening fire in an El Paso, Texas Walmart in an incident that is being investigated as a domestic terrorism case. And in the early hours of Sunday, a shooter in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and wounded 27 others in a shooting rampage in the city’s Oregon District.
Keller, who has served in the Ohio House of Representatives since 2016, represents a district in Butler County — located just 25 miles from Dayton.
She wrote on her Facebook page, "after every mass shooting, the liberals start the blame game. Why not place the blame where it belongs?"
In her post, Keller baselessly attributed mass shootings to:
- "The breakdown of the traditional American family," which according to Keller, includes the legalization of gay marriage, the existence of drag queens and transgender individuals, and "fatherlessness."
- Violent video games.
- America’s immigration laws.
- People smoking marijuana recreationally.
- "Hatred of law enforcement," which Keller blamed on former President Barack Obama.
- Professional athletes protesting the national anthem at sports games.
- Democratic members of Congress.
- "Snowflakes who can’t accept a duly-elected president."
Aside from Keller’s homophobic and transphobic comments, there is no scientific evidence to support her assertions that video games or marijuana use cause mass shootings.
Keller did not address the clear evidence that the El Paso terrorist attack was motivated by white supremacist beliefs.
Moments before the El Paso shooting, the suspected El Paso shooter allegedly posted a 2,300-word "manifesto" to the website 8chan listing a "Hispanic invasion of Texas" as his motivation for committing the attack and saying that "I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion."
Keller wasn’t the only Ohio lawmaker to blame mass shootings on purported societal decay. Fellow Republican Rep. John Becker shared a meme to social media that read, "It’s not guns. it’s hearts without God, homes without discipline, schools without prayer, and courtrooms without justice."
In the immediate wake of the Texas shooting, Texas’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick similarly blamed violent video games for shootings and called for more required school prayer.
Ohio’s Republican attorney general Dave Yost quickly rebuked Keller’s Facebook post on Twitter, writing, "no, m’am. The blame belongs to the evil man who killed those people."
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