Congresswoman Says Many Mass Murderers ‘End Up Being Democrats’
Posted February 22, 2018 1:08 a.m. EST
U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, a first-term Republican from central New York, said in a radio interview Wednesday that “so many” mass murderers “end up being Democrats.”
Democrats immediately condemned her remarks, which came a week after 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and called on her to apologize for politicizing gun tragedies.
One of Tenney’s colleagues in the House, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., wrote on Twitter that she “owes America a sincere and abject apology.” And her expected Democratic opponent this year, state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, said in his own Twitter post that her “toxic rhetoric” was “a new low” and that “inserting politics into a national tragedy is beyond the pale & disgusting.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center released a report this month that counted 100 people killed or injured by “alleged perpetrators influenced by the so-called ‘alt-right'” between 2014 and 2018.
Some individual shootings have appeared politically motivated, at least in part. James Hodgkinson, who opened fire last year on Republicans during their practice for an annual bipartisan congressional baseball game, had written anti-Trump and anti-Republican remarks on social media before the attack. He injured several people, including Rep. Steve Scalise, a top Republican lawmaker, although the gunman was the only fatality in that shooting.
Tenney made her sweeping claim on the “Focus on the State Capitol” radio program hosted by Fred Dicker.
Tenney said she feared lawful gun owners “are going to be targeted now” even though “in their demographic they have the least amount of crimes of virtually any other demographic.”
Dicker jumped in, “But they tend to be Republican. They tend to be white. Most gun crimes are occurring in what’s euphemistically called the inner cities involving minorities and they’re the ones the Democrats generally are going to bend over backwards to protect.”
Tenney eventually continued, “Obviously there’s a lot of politics in it. And it’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that either.”
In a statement Wednesday night, Tenney elaborated but did not provide information about her claim: “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. 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.”
Tenney, a former state legislator, was elected to Congress in 2016, and her district is expected to be among the most hotly contested in New York this fall.