GOP politician says Uvalde shooter was “transgendering” so there’s no reason to “ban AR-15s”

Council member Michelle Fiore
Michelle Fiore Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley Stevens

A Republican elected official in Nevada is joining the chorus of GOP politicians who are trying to deflect blame for mass shootings from guns to transgender people.

“I have to tell you what happened in Texas is horrific,” Republican Nevada state treasurer candidate and current Las Vegas city Council member Michele Fiore said at a recent appearance. “All the liberal media is going to you, oh it’s guns, it’s guns, it’s kind of- We got to ban AR-15s. No we do not.”

Related: Trans girl attacked after conservatives falsely blamed Ulvade shooting on trans person

She went on a rant that started out about “the pharmaceutical industry,” which she claimed are giving kids “pharmaceutical psychotropic drugs.”

“Nobody wants to talk about the drug issue,” she said, adding that the shooter in Uvalde, Texas who killed 19 children and two adults two weeks ago “was on psychotropics.” The shooter wasn’t even in the mental health care system, and there’s no evidence that he was on psychotropic medications.

But Fiore didn’t appear concerned with the facts, repeating the false rumor that the shooter was transgender: “He was also on a lot of different medications from transgendering. So his mind was quite defective.”

Just after the shooting two weeks ago, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said that the killer was transgender, repeating misinformation that was sweeping far-right and white nationalist websites.

“It’s a transsexual leftist illegal alien,” Gosar tweeted. “It’s apparently your kind of trash.”

The shooter was cisgender and a U.S. citizen.

“There is an overwhelming number of individuals who are posting images of this person, who was the shooter, and information about the nature of them being transgender,” rightwing radio host Stacy Washington said, referring to pictures of a transgender woman who was not the shooter but whose pictures were shared online.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) repeated the misinformation last week on a webcast: the shooter “clearly had a lot of mental issues going on, as was shown with him wearing eyeliner, cross-dressing, a lot of his language, being a loner.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Michele Fiore’s name “Michelle.” We regret the error.

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