A Republican state representative in Idaho posted on Facebook a veiled threat against four young women who were peacefully protesting outside the state's GOP convention.
State Rep. Priscilla Giddings uploaded a photo with the Idaho State University students on Friday afternoon. The Republican, who was first elected to the chamber in 2016, was smiling in the picture. The young protesters all had signs related to gun safety measures, a particularly timely message given Thursday's mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, MD. The attack left five dead and two injured.
Giddings' post was as tone-deaf as it was worrying. Despite her seemingly friendliness in the picture, the representative added a caption that seemed to imply she could shoot the protesters if she wanted: "Idaho State University students peacefully protesting our Republican convention. Do you think I should show these girls the empty 30mm shell I have in the truck?"
It's not the first time that Republican state lawmakers have used social media to threaten or mock young activists concerned about gun control.
Most Facebook users reacting to Giddings' post condemned the lawmaker's post. One of the comments read: "I hope I am misunderstanding something here ... A PEACEFUL. NON-VIOLENT demonstration and you think they need to see empty shells?! My first thought is what in the hell is wrong with you?!"
Another user wrote: " So these girls are protesting legally and peacefully, you’re insulting them on social media after you pretend to nicely take a photo with them, and you’re making a tasteless joke about guns the day after a mass shooting? Just want to make sure I’m understanding this situation correctly."
Giddings is up for re-election in November. She is running unopposed.
Refinery29 reached out to the office of state Rep. Priscilla Giddings and the Republican Party of Idaho for comment. We'll update this story if we hear back.