PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island lawmaker who called a school shooting survivor a “dummy” for her response to a separate shooting that killed four people at a restaurant in Nashville said Tuesday he’s sorry for the remark.
But Republican state Rep. Mike Chippendale said he won’t apologize for “zealously defending” the Second Amendment.
Chippendale responded Monday to a comment by Emma Gonzalez, a high school senior who survived a mass shooting at her school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead in February. Gonzalez, who’s become a gun control activist, cited reports that an unarmed man took away the gun from the shooter at a Waffle House in Nashville on Sunday as evidence that teachers don’t need guns to protect students.
Chippendale said the ensuing manhunt might have been avoided if the man had a gun, and “the entire region wouldn’t be on lockdown … dummy.” He later deleted the tweet.
Chippendale is a town chairman for Republican Allan Fung’s gubernatorial campaign. A campaign spokesman called the tweet disappointing and said Chippendale was asked to apologize.
That prompted independent gubernatorial candidate Joe Trillo to accuse Fung of “throwing his people under the bus.” Trillo, a former Republican lawmaker, said it’s an example of “political correctness rearing its ugly head.”
Chippendale said Fung addressed his mistake appropriately.
The Democratic Governors Association said Fung should remove Chippendale from his campaign to show he doesn’t condone insulting a mass shooting survivor.