Following the Dayton mass shooting in August, state representative Candice Keller (R-Middletown) took to Facebook to complain about perceived hypocrisy from liberals regarding gun violence in the U.S.
She blamed mass shootings on transgender individuals, homosexual marriage, drag queen advocates, fatherlessness, violent video games, marijuana, failed school policies, disrespect toward police (which she attributed to President Barack Obama), hatred of veterans (which she attributed to former football player Colin Kaepernick), Democratic representatives, secular culture, certain state lawmakers and snowflakes (not the wintery ones).
Not once in her tangent did she condemn lax gun laws, which are the actual cause of mass shootings in the U.S.
Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, among other Republicans and elected officials, called on Keller to resign. She hasn’t.
Since she blamed the deaths of nine people (the number who were killed in the shooting) on my right to marry a man, I would like to respond.
One day when I was 15, I was flipping through the TV and stumbled upon channel 11 – “the Christian channel.” The station was airing a “documentary” in which the narrator blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.’ acceptance of gay individuals.
In 2001, no gay person had a right to marry in the U.S., so the narrator wasn’t referring to gay marriage but rather to the growing cultural consensus that “gay was okay.”
At the age of 15, about the time I realized I was gay, I was told through the media that I was responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans.
While I can vividly recall the documentary, it didn’t truly have an adverse impact on me nor did Keller’s post. I’m used to it.
In fact, what truly bothered me about Keller’s post was its stunning lack of leadership. Her words were insensitive and divisive. She intended to excite certain people and get a rise out of others.
The state representative should have taken a cue from another Republican – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
While speaking at a vigil for victims of Dayton’s mass shooting, DeWine was drowned out by attendees yelling at him to “do something.”
Following the vigil, he didn’t chastise the attendees. He did something. Specifically, he proposed instituting red flag laws, expanding background checks for gun sales and increasing penalties for crimes related to gun violence.
Notably absent from his plan was a move to ban gay marriage, drag queen advocates, violent video games, etc.
Keller will likely work with the governor to enact some of his proposals, and she therefore has an opportunity to actually reduce gun violence in the state. I wish her luck.