An Ohio lawmaker has stirred up controversy with a Facebook rant blaming the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, on the breakdown of “traditional American family,” gay marriage and “drag queen advocates” among other things.
State Rep. Candice Keller, a Republican from Middletown, about 25 miles southwest of Dayton, listed a slew of reasons why she believes that 24-year-old Connor Betts killed nine people, including his sister, early Sunday in downtown Dayton.
“After every mass shooting, the liberals start the blame game,” Keller wrote in the Facebook post, which had been removed as of early Monday. “Why not place the blame where it belongs?”
Keller placed the blame for mass shootings with “the breakdown of the traditional American family (thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates); fatherlessness, a subject no one discusses or believes is relevant; the ignoring of violent video games; the relaxing of laws against criminals (open borders); the acceptance of recreational marijuana; failed school policies (hello, parents who defend misbehaving students): disrespect to law enforcement (thank you, Obama).”
She also slammed local lawmakers who she says have “no interest whatsoever” in learning about the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment, as well as “snowflakes who can’t accept a duly elected President,” according to the post.
“Did I forget anybody?” Keller continued. “The list is long. And the fury will continue.”
The post on Facebook has since been deleted, but it has drawn strong criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the political divide.
The Democratic Party Chairman for Ohio’s Butler County, Brian Hester, told The Cincinnati Inquirer that Keller was blaming the victims of recent shootings in her post. “To blame these shootings on some of the very people who have been targeted is offensive to those victims as well as the nine people who were murdered in Dayton this morning and to their grieving friends and family members,” said Hester, referencing both the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 and the El Paso attack on Saturday.
Ohio Republican Party leader Jane Timken has called on Keller to resign from her post for her “shocking and utterly unjustifiable” comments.
“While our nation was in utter shock over the acts of violence in El Paso and Dayton, Republican State Rep. Candice Keller took to social media to state why she thought these acts were happening,” Timken said 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.”
Even some celebrities joined in speaking out against Keller’s comments, with country singer Kacey Musgraves lambasting the Ohio lawmaker on Twitter for her controversial comments.
“I love keeping things about the music and usually stay out of politics publicly UNTIL it barrels past political party preference points and dangerously encroaches on fundamental human rights. It’s then not a political issue anymore,” Musgraves said. “It’s a matter of heart. Of humanity. Of survival.”
Keller, who did return Fox News’ request for comment, is running for the Ohio Senate in Butler County in 2020 against two fellow Republicans.
This is not the first time Keller has been the center of controversy. In 2017 she spoke on a white power advocate’s radio show and made headlines that same year for comparing Planned Parenthood to Nazis.