Ohio State Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, said she was not mocking the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting during comments made at an Ohio Carry rally at the Statehouse earlier this month.
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But she stands by every word she said, including saying a 15-year-old shooting survivor who spoke about gun control on national television “would just as soon be eating Doritos and playing video games.”
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Since the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students from Parkland, Florida have lobbied state and national lawmakers to ban assault weapons and pass more strict gun control laws.
Just this month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed six gun control measures in response to the shooting.
During her 8-minute speech on the Statehouse steps, Keller said she believed the government was infringing on the gun rights of people and promoted the “stand your ground” bill she recently introduced.
“A month ago we were really having this conversation, and all of a sudden a 15-year-old on television who would just assume eating Doritos and playing video games wants to tell me that my Constitution needs to be changed. Really?” Keller said.
Keller said gun control would not have stopped the Feb. 14 shooting in Florida.
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“We all cried over that,” she said. “But what I don’t appreciate is the way (these kids) are being used to promote gun control. It is the height of exploitation for this movement.”
Instead of gun control laws, Keller told the Journal-News there needs to be more invested in treating mental illness, and “our law enforcement could use more support from the community.”
At the March 10 rally she said "attacking" the Second Amendment won't change society and believes it will be worse as "we have no rights at all without the Second Amendment."
“We’re not sheep,” she said in Columbus. “We do not follow everybody who gets on television and tells me what the Founders knew was true, and that is I was born with the right to protect myself.
“While this theme of violence continues in our country, we need an armed, trained people,” she said. “And that’s what we are. We are armed, we are trained. We are not criminals.”
Keller advocated for the gun control talk to stop, and for lawmakers to move forward on Ohio's "stand your ground" bill, which there is being considered in the Ohio House, and one in the Ohio Senate, and the support of banning sanctuary cities in Ohio.