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An Ohio Republican who blamed the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso on “drag queen advocates,” video games, and Barack Obama is now facing pressure from the state GOP leader to resign.
“After every mass shooting, the liberals start the blame game,” Ohio state representative Candice Keller, who's from a community near Dayton, wrote on Facebook on Sunday, several hours after a gunman massacred nine and injured at least 27 others in a downtown Dayton entertainment district. “Why not place the blame where it belongs?”
Keller, 67, then listed umpteen bizarre reasons for mass shootings, blaming them on everything from “the breakdown of the traditional American family” to “professional athletes who hate our flag National Anthem.” And she slammed liberals as “snowflakes who can’t accept a duly-elected President.”
But her comments proved to be too incendiary for other Ohio Republicans, who are now urging her to resign.
“While our nation was in utter shock over the acts of violence in El Paso and Dayton, Republican State Representative Candice Keller took to social media to state why she thought these acts were happening,” Jane Timken, the chair of the state’s Republican party, told the Cincinnati Enquirer in a statement. “Candice Keller’s Facebook post was shocking and utterly unjustifiable. Our nation is reeling from these senseless acts of violence and public servants should be working to bring our communities together, not promoting divisiveness.”
Other Ohio Republicans are now trying to distance themselves from Keller, who's running for a state Senate seat. In an interview with the Washington Post, Butler County sheriff Richard Jones called Keller’s post “an embarrassment.”
“It’s shameful. It does not reflect our party, our community, or the people who are hurting right now,” Jones, who in 2006 made headlines for putting up a sign outside the county jail that read “ILLEGAL ALIENS HERE,” told The Post on Monday. “She only left out people who look like her.”
Keller’s lengthy list of the people and things responsible for the two mass shootings didn’t include white nationalism, misogyny, or access to guns — though the El Paso shooter posted a screed espousing white nationalist ideologies and the Dayton shooter was a member of two bands whose songs were known for their misogynistic lyrics and violent imagery. The Dayton shooter killed nine people, including his sister, in the rampage. Police killed him after less than a minute of him opening fire. Authorities are still trying to determine his motive.
Cover: Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)