GOP House Candidate Claims 99 Percent of Mass Shooters are Democrats

gary kiehne


A Republican candidate for US Congress in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District set a new low for demonizing the opposition party, by breathlessly asserting that Democrats are responsible for 99 percent of the mass shootings in this country. Gary Kiehne, who is seeking the GOP nomination to unseat Democratic Representative Ann Kirkpatrick made the outlandish comments in a recent Republican party debate. On the topic of mass shootings, Kiehne remarked:

If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people. So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.

While Kiehne’s comments are beyond absurd, they are increasingly typical for Tea Party Republicans who believe in an alternate reality where nearly every violent crime or act of evil is perpetrated by Democrats, liberals, or progressives. In this new popular mythology on the American Right, the Nazis are left-wing, the KKK was created by “liberal Democrats” and almost every mass shooter in America is also, of course, a Democrat.

Apparently Kiehne is one of those Congressional candidates who is incapable of basic fact checking, but instead gets all of his information from mass e-mails circulated by fellow right-wingers with sensationalized, unfounded claims that blame liberal Democrats for every malady in America.

The “mass shooters are Democrats” meme is popular on the Internet, but although widely circulated, the claims are invariably provided without a source, because to put it bluntly, they are patently false. The original claim was made by right-wing radio host Roger Hedgecock, who proclaimed, without evidence or sources, that the five worst mass shootings in U.S. History were committed by “registered Democrats”. The shooters he referenced to make his false claim were Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan, VA Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho, Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes, Sandy Hook mass killer Adam Lanza, and Columbine shooters Dylan Klebold and EricHarris. Some versions of the meme incorporate more recent mass shooters or add Jared Loughner, the deranged killer who shot Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a Tucson-area meet and greet.

Of course, not a single one of the shooters mentioned has any demonstrated connection to the Democratic Party. Seung-Hui Cho was a resident alien, and therefore was not even registered to vote. Nidal Hassan was a legal resident of Virginia living in Texas. Neither state has partisan voter registration, so while it is impossible to determine how he voted if he voted, we do know that he could not register as a Democrat in either the state of Texas or Virginia. Klebold and Harris where too young to vote and while some arguments acknowledge that by arguing instead that their parents were Democrats, that claim is also unsubstantiated. The claim that Adam Lanza was a Democrat is also unsubstantiated.

The false allegation that James Holmes was a registered Democrat was based on Breitbart blogger Joel B. Pollack, who found voter registration records for a different James Holmes who was around the same age. Alex Jones’ Infowars and other right-wing websites then dutifully repeated the lie without verifying it. It was later determined that the Colorado Theater Shooter James Holmes was not registered to vote, and Breitbart. com offered this retraction:

Newly-released information on the suspect’s birthdate (which, as indicated in our initial report, was a slight mismatch), combined with new details Breitbart News has obtained about the suspect’s likely addresses, together suggest that the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote.

Of course, very few conservatives ever read the retraction.

The point Kiehne seems to miss is that most mass shootings are not committed by political partisans of either major political party. Mass killings are rarely partisan political acts although the shooters may have strong ideological motives that may include political ideas. Occasionally, the shooter may even work on political campaigns like xenophobic former Republican campaign volunteer, Dannie Baker who shot five Chilean immigrants in 2009.

However, even if a few mass shooters worked on political campaigns, it would still be absurd to assign their crimes to their respective political parties, since neither the Democrats nor the Republicans include mass shooting in their party platforms. Kiehne’s cheap attempt to smear Democrats as mass killers simply undermines his credibility as a congressional candidate. While reasonable people can disagree on which gun regulations are appropriate and which are unacceptable, claiming that almost all mass shootings are committed by Democrats is simply a blatant lie. Any politician arguing such unsubstantiated nonsense, should be considered unfit to vote into office.

17 Replies to “GOP House Candidate Claims 99 Percent of Mass Shooters are Democrats”

  1. “A Republican candidate for US Congress in Arizona‚Äôs 1st Congressional District set a new low for demonizing the opposition party, by breathlessly asserting that Democrats are responsible for 99 percent of the mass shootings in this country.”

    Okayyyyyy….and the earth is flat.

  2. Well, of course he said that. His district is right next to Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe Arpiao, so he really has to work to get the attention of the nutjobs in his district. Fortunately for him, he seems to have a natural bent towards this sort of stupidity.

  3. Ah another GOP member that was moving his lips so that numerous lies came forth. No big surprise there. The amazing part is so many will believe these unchristian people. Just another case of a wolf in sheep’s clothing that Jesus warned of. Seems the Gop attracts them like honey attracts flies.

  4. Thats so typical of republicans! it’s all about PROJECTION!! so it’s democrats shooting up the place? I’m going to confess something today, I’m starting to get tired, many of you know I trot out my grammaticality error filled rants (REALLY?LOL but I assume you know I support liberalism! but unfortunately the democratic party typically doesn’t wanna fight back! It’s a damn shame that two of the most passionate liberals/democrats are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren!! and sen. Sanders is a independent!! why is this country so lost? republicans have brought this country to it’s knees with debt! hoover brought us to a depression, reagan ran up INSANE debts fighting the cold war that no one was fighting! bush jr damn near ruined the country with war for profit schemes and then we starting torturing people! we started giving up basic freedoms!

  5. Another airhead GOP candidate opening his pie hole and nothing coming out by lies, evilness and hatred. When it comes to the GOP/Teabagger, artificial intelligence is no match for Natural stupdity. I truly believe that in their hearts the compete to see who can say the dumbest things. And they wonder why they can’t get votes from certain groups.

  6. 911 wasn’t a foreign terrorist attack! it’s a OLD OLD trick used by only the most corrupt governments, stage a catastrophic event, blame it on a outside source, rally the public and create a patriotic, nationalist environment and start stripping away civil liberties all under the guise of national security. The RIGHTIES have dominated the ENTIRE conversation while MOST democrats just look like a dear in headlights!! If our democratic politicians had half the backbone as many of the great liberals who take time out of their busy hectic day to post opinions here, we wouldn’t be drowned out by these THUG republicans nutcases!! Democrats are responsible for 99% of mass shootings?!! only the truly mentally ill buys that swill.

  7. HorseFeathers!!! To my recollection there has NEVER been any mass shooter who has ever identified themselves with the Democratic Party or Liberals for that matter. The guy is setting on a tractor..first clue as to his utter cluelessness!

  8. This comment sucks, a Republican (and Democrats)who’s wearing guns is a dombo. Ban your guns, grow up, be responsible and let your kid know there is a better world if we tolerate each other.

  9. Lying republican liars lying republican lies, The hateful, hate filled, hate mongering haters of the GOP, which is all of the GOP just can’t stop lying and hating. What is the old quote, ” If a republican is talking, he or she is lying hate filled lies “.

  10. I would like to apologize for Maricopa county and the Phoenix area . I am from Tucson ( Pima County ) where inbreeding is felony.All our Republican Governors have been criminals or intellectully challenged , everyone .All of our republican state legislators try to one up each other on the crazy.

  11. I am hoping the deceit and truth be shown. I do believe it is becoming more evident even to a lot of the republican people, but the democrats need more time on main stream medias to show how bad the republican Politian’s have become. By emphasizing the untrue outrages statements they have made.
    If the democrats had the votes in congress I know our country would be a better place today.

  12. Absolutely. He idolized Anders Breivik, who in turn idolized Adolf Hitler. Neither of these men were left wing Democrats. On the contrary, they were Neo Nazis and Nazis. Right wing politics and the crazy gun culture of America were part of the reason Adam Lanza took his own life after such an act of insanity. Throw into the mix lack of gun controls, and a mad Prepper mother who knew her son was very ill, was even on the point of having him committed, yet let him walk around with 3 of her guns, gave him access to a formidable arsenal, and taught him how to shoot. He fits perfectly the description of Fragile X Syndrome combined with Autism, which is a genetic mutation, and affects the frontal lobe of the brain.

    Adam Lanza and the Newtown Massacre ebook

  13. It’s the GOP who back the NRA and the NRA who fund the GOP incumbents – don’t blame the democrats for this fiasco

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