Arizona governor’s press secretary takes down ‘transphobe’ gun meme amid Nashville backlash

The press secretary for Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs has come under fire after she posted a meme suggesting violent measures against transphobes in the wake of the Nashville school shooting which led to the deaths of three children and three adults.

Police have said that the suspect in the shooting, Audrey Hale, 28, was a trans man, prompting dangerous anti-trans rhetoric from Republican lawmakers and far-right figures, as reported by The Independent.

On Monday night, Hobbs spokesperson Josselyn Berry posted an image from the 1980 film Gloria of a woman holding a gun in each of her hands.

“Us when we see transphobes,” she wrote, according to the Arizona Republic.

The post has since been taken down and access to her Twitter account has since been restricted to followers approved by Ms Berry.

On Tuesday, the tweet was used by Republicans and rightwing figures to argue that it was pushing for violence and tone deaf.

The members of the Arizona state legislature furthest to the right are part of the Arizona Freedom Caucus, which called for Ms Berry to be fired.

“Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist @katiehobbs’ Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with. Calling for violence like this is un-American & never acceptable. @joss_berry should be fired immediately,” the caucus tweeted on Tuesday night.

The caucus has been fighting back against the governor on repeated occasions since she took office earlier this year. They have threaten to sue Ms Hobbs over her first executive order which broadened protections against discrimination to also include gender.

Caucus leader state Senator Jake Hoffman said that Ms Berry was “threatening to shoot people Democrats disagree with less than 12 hours after the Nashville shooting,” according to The Republic.

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