In the aftermath of Thursday’s deadly shooting at The Capital newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, voices across the aisle — including even President Donald Trump — counselled caution and toned-down rhetoric.
Others apparently didn’t get the message. Not only did right-wing personalities like Sean Hannity and conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer immediately point fingers at Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), but one Idaho Republican asked followers if she should greet peaceful protesters with an “empty 30mm shell.”
The Facebook post from Idaho State Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R), first spotted by BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Petersen, came as a group of Idaho State University protesters gathered at the state’s Republican Party convention on Friday. The photo features Giddings, who represents a district near the joint Idaho-Oregon-Washington border, alongside a handful of young women carrying signs, one of which calls to “ban assault weapons.”
Students came to peacefully protest the Idaho State GOP Convention. Rep. Priscilla Giddings took a picture with them and posted it to FB with the following caption: pic.twitter.com/zbjLySRtbP
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) June 29, 2018
Giddings, a first-year representative, has gone out of her way to ape Trump’s rhetoric about the media. In one recent video, she announced “Idaho Fake News Awards,” to be awarded at the end of Idaho’s legislative session.
The Idaho Republican convention began Friday in Pocatello, Idaho. One of the headline speakers includes National Rifle Association (NRA) President Oliver North.
While Idaho’s far-right politicians have recently been on their heels — Alex Jones’ preferred Congressional candidate didn’t make it out of the primaries, for instance — Giddings’ post is by no means the most nefarious, or despicable, move from an Idaho Republican in recent years. In 2015, Idaho State Rep. Heather Scott (R) posted a shot of her carrying a Confederate flag — just a few days after neo-Confederate white supremacist Dylann Roof massacred nine people in Charleston, South Carolina.
Scott described the flag, which represented a movement to enslave millions of Americans while simultaneously breaking up the U.S., as “a symbol of free speech.”