May 31, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Representative Mentions Weapon, Media Imagines Threat

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A Kansas representative tweeted to another that there are 25 people carrying guns in the House Chambers prior to a vote, and Twitter exploded with the myth that it was a threat. Par for the course for a society that suspends elementary kids from school for Pop Tarts shaped like guns.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, an Overland Park Republican, tweeted she was frightened by a debate and vote on legislation that would ban guns from state-owned hospitals.

Another lawmaker, Rep. John Whitmer, a Wichita Republican, responded via Twitter, “There’s nothing to be scared of, there’s at least 25 guns on the House floor right now. #StickersMakeYouSafe.”

The #StickersMakeYouSafe hashtag was in reference to “No Gun” stickers on doors. Many legislators argued that having a sticker on the door doesn’t make you safe. Clayton seemed in on the joke, tweeting photos of unicorn stickers and an ‘I Voted’ sticker.

A meltdown followed. Clayton posted a screenshot of Whitmer’s tweet, and tweeted, “So this is happening to me at work.”

Pop tarts shaped like guns call for suspension. Stickers keep people safe, and the mere mention of weapons is grounds for a visit from Capitol Police, according to Rep. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat. She tweeted, “If you had received this from an everyday citizen, the Capitol police would be all over it. Leadership needs to sanction him.”

Never to let a woman’s distress call go unanswered, the Wichita Eagle jumped on the case, with a story seeking comments from leadership about the possibility of sanctions. This isn’t the first time Clayton has issued a distress call via social media. When a Facebook commenter said she “should swing from a tree” on a post about a gun control bill, she alerted police. At least that post made a reference to actual violence, unlike Whitmer’s tweet.

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