Republican Congresswoman, Without Evidence, Claims Most Mass Shooters Are Democrats
In an effort to deflect blame from the Republican inaction on gun reform, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) claimed that many mass shooters are Democrats and that the media are overlooking the story. Tenney, however, offered no evidence to support her claim.
Tenney, a gun rights advocate, made the comments during a discussion Wednesday with WGDJ host Fred Dicker about the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting, which left 17 people dead.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of politics in it. It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats,” Tenney said, according to a CNN report. “But the media doesn’t talk about that.”
The congresswoman said she fears legal gun owners will be “targeted” following the shooting, even though she claimed their demographic had “the least amount of crimes than virtually any other demographic.” Dicker replied that “they tend to vote Republican” and “tend to be white.” Tenney laughed and agreed.
The suspect in the Florida shooting, Nikolas Cruz, 19, bought the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack legally a year ago, Police said. He was a fervent Trump supporter and wore a MAGA hat in several social media photos.
The interview drew backlash from numerous Democratic lawmakers.
State Rep. Anthony Brindisi, who is looking to unseat Tenney, said her comments were “a new low.”
“First, @RepTenney said Democrats are un-American. Now this,” Brindisi wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “This toxic rhetoric is shameful and a new low even for Ms. Tenney. Inserting politics into a national tragedy is beyond the pale & disgusting. She should apologize now to spare our region any more national embarrassment.”
Tenney defended her comments, claiming the media and liberals are trying to “demonize” gun owners.
“I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy,” Tenney said, the news network reported. “While we know the perpetrators of these atrocities have a wide variety of political views, my comments are in response to a question about the failure to prosecute illegal gun crime. I will continue to stand up for law-abiding citizens who are smeared by anti-gun liberal elitists.”
The National Rifle Association endorsed Tenney in 2016.