Kansas Dem Congressional Candidate Apologizes After Linking Cop Killings to NRA
A Kansas congressional candidate has apologized after his disgraceful attempt to politicize the shooting deaths of two sheriff deputies in Kansas City, Kansas, blew up in his face.
Brent Welder is an outspoken Bernie Bro and Young Turks' favorite who recently appeared on the progressive TYT YouTube channel. He's running for Congress against Kansas Third District Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder in November.
Welder sent out a wildly exploitative campaign email Saturday, fundraising off the deaths of Deputies Patrick Rohrer, 35, and Theresa King, 44, by linking their deaths to school shootings and the NRA.
But the tragic incident had nothing to do with the wider gun control debate. The deputies were shot while transporting murder suspect Antoine Fielder from the county courthouse back to jail on Friday. Kansas City police confirmed that Fielder managed to overpower the two officers, seizing one of their guns and killing them both.
Fielder was also shot during the confrontation and was transported to an area hospital. His condition was not immediately known.
According to the Kansas City Star, Rohrer served 7 years with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office and King 13 years.
In his email, Welder first tried to evoke sympathy by noting that his “office in Wyandotte County was locked down because of a shooting a few blocks away at the courthouse.”
Then the email went off the rails, making political points totally unconnected to the shooting.
“I’m grateful our staff and volunteers are safe, but two sheriff’s deputies were killed yesterday because someone who shouldn’t have had a gun had one.”
Obviously. But Fielder apparently wrestled it away from someone who should have had a gun.
Hoping to gain political favor by bringing up a progressive sore spot, Welder went on to link the tragic incident to school shootings:
"We’ve gone less than a month since we’ve had a major school shooting in this country," he wrote. "And I’m not even counting the other shooting victims from just our area this week."
He ended by providing a link to a petition calling for Yoder to stop accepting money from the National Rifle Association: "This has got to stop. Click now to sign on to our petition calling for Rep. Kevin Yoder to stop taking NRA and gun lobby contributions. He may say nice things, but he won’t do anything as long as he is in the pocket of the NRA."
People who were foolish enough to sign the petition were then taken to a fundraising page for Welder.
The shameless email also promoted a gun control rally in Kansas City on Monday, where Welder apparently intended to criticize Yoder's stance on gun control.