Ohio GOP lawmaker Candice Keller has come under fire after the state representative posted an article to Facebook in the wake of the most recent mass shootings in the U.S. which argued that marijuana legalization, among other unrelated issues, is partly to blame for the tragedy.
She has been asked to resign by the head of Ohio’s Republican party, and the state’s attorney general has also denounced the post.
As well as blaming marijuana legalization, Rep. Keller said that the breakdown of the traditional family, violent video games, and “snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected president” are contributing factors behind the back-to-back shootings that killed 21 people in El Paso, Texas, and nine in Dayton, Ohio.
“After every mass shooting, the liberals start the blame game,” she wrote. “Why not place the blame where it belongs?”
Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken condemned Keller’s article as “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,” she said.
After an initial outcry, Keller made her post private, but not before Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) tweeted his thoughts.
“No, m’am. The blame belongs to the evil man who killed those people,” he wrote.
An Ohio county sheriff and a local city councilman also took Keller to task for her inflammatory statements.
Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbech (D) went further in urging the Middletown constituents of Keller’s district to call her Columbus office to express their outrage at her views.
This is not Keller’s first brush with controversy for statements she has made. She made headlines as executive director for a Christian pregnancy resource center for likening Planned Parenthood to Nazis. She also recently appeared on the radio show of a notorious white supremacist, and worked alongside former Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel to formulate a ban on so-called sanctuary cities.
It’s also certainly not the first time a politician has used the aftermath of a tragedy to push their political agenda. With regards to blaming legal cannabis for mass shootings though, her statement is all the more bizarre given that neither Ohio nor Texas has legalized the drug.