Rep. Alexander Kolodin || Capitol Media Services 2022 file photo by Howard Fischer
By Ray Stern || The Arizona Republic
A state lawmaker is facing a social media backlash for public statements about who he would “shoot” made the day Gov. Katie Hobbs’ spokesperson resigned over a tweet that seemed to encourage violence after a massacre at a Christian school.
Comments by state Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Scottsdale, in the House Judiciary Committee and on Twitter on March 29 drew immediate comparisons to the March 28 tweet by Hobbs’ former spokesperson, Josselyn Berry, which resulted in her resignation.
Kolodin had been debating in the committee with a speaker about Senate Bill 1323, which calls for felony charges against school officials who unlawfully refer students to or use “sexually explicit material in any manner.”
Neither Chambers nor the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek, had mentioned circumcision or religion in regard to the bill at that point. Chambers laughed nervously at the “shoot you” comment but showed no further reaction at the time.
Chambers told The Arizona Republic later that, speaking for herself and not her organization, she was not surprised by his words.
“I hope he was joking,” she said. “I hope that in the future he takes gun safety and his statements about how guns should be used more seriously.”
After Kolodin doubled-down on the comments on Twitter, an online spat erupted as other commenters joined in, becoming another example of the national tension over gun policy and the polarization of partisan viewpoints.