In the wake of mass shootings, we seek explanations for such senseless and unnecessary violence. That impulse led one Ohio lawmaker to blame the legalization of recreational marijuana as one reason the United States has seen an increase of mass shootings.
Following mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, Ohio Rep. Candice Keller took to her Facebook page Sunday to complain of liberals playing the “blame game” around gun violence. Keller lives in Middleton, Ohio, which is around 30 miles south of Dayton, and used the tragedy to place blame where she believes it lies.
“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).”
Her post continued, also blaming professional athletes who “hate our flag and National Anthem,” Democrats in Congress, and “snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President.”
Ohio Attorney General David Yost denounced Keller’s statements on Twitter.
“No, m’am,” he wrote. “The blame belongs to the evil man who killed those people.”
No, m’am. The blame belongs to the evil man who killed those people. pic.twitter.com/uBHI3fPf3M
— Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) August 5, 2019
Chris Seelbach, a Democratic councilman in Cincinnati, also shared Keller’s Facebook post—which isn’t available to the public—and implored people to call Keller’s offices to share how they feel about her comments.
Ohio State Representative Candice Keller (represents Middletown, Ohio) says the shootings happened because of my marriage to Craig.
And “drag queen advocates” ME AGAIN!
And Open Borders.
Let her know what you think. 614-644-5094 pic.twitter.com/pfo0xektjn
— Chris Seelbach (@ChrisSeelbach) August 4, 2019
Studies have shown that marijuana legalization has the opposite effect to what Keller insinuates. Police made more arrests for burglaries, theft, and violent crimes (like gun violence) in Washington and Colorado following legalization, according to a 2018 study. At a time when suicide rates are rising across the country, suicide numbers dropped in California after legalization. In addition, thefts, property crimes, and rapes all declined after marijuana regulations, according to 2018 data.