The Wyoming House Democrat Whip has apologized for sharing a Facebook post that suggested gun violence was necessary to protect transgender-identifying people.
Just one week earlier, six people were killed by a transgender-identifying shooter at a private Christian school in Nashville.
Representative Karlee Provenza shared a post from Off Color Decals, a left-wing firearms accessory company, showing a woman dressed in a transgender flag outfit and aiming a rifle.
“Auntie Fa says protect trans folks against fascists & bigots,” read the post, alluding to the far-left group Antifa, which has purposely multiple violent and destructive protests.
“Off Color Decals sells different firearms accessories catered toward members of the American left that own guns, including patches featuring assault rifles over different LGBT flags with the words ‘defend equality,’” reports Fox News. “Another sticker has the Republican elephant on what appears to be a Diet Coke can labeled ‘Diet Fascism.’ Additionally, Off Color Decals also sells ‘banned merchandise‘ that was taken off the market website Etsy ‘for being too spicy.’”
Journalist Andy Ngo shared images of Provenza’s post on Twitter on April 3 alongside a post from her TikTok account “where a voiceover calls for politically-motivated murders.”
Wyoming state Democrat lawmaker Rep. Karlee Provenza @Provenza4Wyomin posted a video on TikTok where a voiceover calls for politically-motivated murders. She also posted a graphic from an Antifa group on her Instagram suggesting Antifa supporters carry out gun violence against… pic.twitter.com/EyVr9n6OUY
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 3, 2023
On her Twitter account, Provenza describes herself as an “expert on police misconduct, trial consultant, professional rabble rouser against injustice, & former PI.” On Instagram, Provenza says she is a “justice reformer, organizer, and exterminator of the good old boys.”
Provenza is a co-founder of the advocacy group Albany County for Proper Policing and has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and Law.
After receiving backlash for her posts, Provenza deleted the posts and issued an apology on Facebook.
“For National Trans Day of Visibility, I shared a meme on my personal social media…. The meme is a nod to a cause I have long supported: Armed self defense for the LGTBQ community,” Provenza wrote on April 3. “Members of the LGBTQ community and their allies depend on Second Amendment rights for protection. Some even organize armed groups to ensure that events like drag shows and Pride parades can proceed without fear of violence.”
The lawmaker said she supports the Second Amendment, noting she “co-sponsored successful legislation this year to give non-violent felons their gun rights back.” Provenza argued her posts were misconstrued by the Wyoming Freedom Caucus as an incitement of violence.
“I do not wish violence on anyone, but I believe that Americans have the right to defend themselves and their communities—and that right extends to all of us,” she said.
“I apologize for failing to recognize the potential impact of my actions on social media, which have contributed to inflammatory and distracting online discourse,” said Provenza. “Especially in these divisive times, we must always maintain focus on working toward collaborative solutions to the problems facing our state and its residents.”
Two members of Arizona Governor Katie Hobb’s staff resigned after posting messages on social media suggesting violence against alleged transphobes.
Wyoming House Speaker Representative Albert Sommers, a Republican who denounced Provenza’s posts, said the lawmaker “recognizes and apologizes for the potential negative impact of her post.”
“Civility is the basic expectation of how a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives should conduct themselves, both on and off the floor of the House,” he said.