Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert Criticized for Fundraising Email Sent Right After Boulder Mass Shooting
A controversial Colorado lawmaker and outspoken gun ownership advocate faced her latest backlash this week when her campaign sent a fundraising email about the gun violence debate soon after a mass shooting in her home state.
The email from Rep. Lauren Boebert's campaign reportedly appeared mere hours after the Boulder, Colorado, supermarket shooting that killed 10 people.
"I told Beto 'HELL NO' to taking our guns. Now we need to tell Joe Biden," the email's subject line read, according to a copy of the email shared by a reporter online.
The email was delivered about two hours after Boebert, 34, sent her thoughts and prayers for the victims in a tweet and the message arrived while police were still at the scene, confirming information.
There was no reply to PEOPLE's request for comment from Lauren Boebert for Congress, the group that sent the email on the conservative lawmaker's behalf.
Critics — including family members of gun violence victims — immediately expressed disappointment and frustration. Some said the fundraising email was distasteful.
"People like you are directly responsible for MY friends, MY family & MY community being put in harms way," one person wrote to Boebert, in response to her tweets Monday night.
Boebert wrote in one tweet that she was trying to "make sense of this senseless violence" after the shooting.
"As we continue to hear the news coming out of Boulder. I'm praying for the police, first responders, and those affected by this tragedy," she tweeted Monday afternoon. "May God be with us as we make sense of this senseless violence, and may we unify and not divide during this time."
"Interesting that you of all people can't make sense of this," one user responded, sharing the message alongside a recent photo of Boebert sitting at her computer with a large rifle displayed on the wall behind her.
"Maybe sit this one out," another user told the restaurant owner-turned-lawmaker. Boebert accused her Democratic colleagues of trying to "advance a political agenda" in the wake of Monday's shooting.
"It should not be a partisan issue," President Joe Biden said Tuesday about efforts to pass gun reform, which has been consistently stymied by a divided Congress.
"It's an American issue," Biden said.
Boebert, who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, was elected in November after a campaign that often saw her touting a fierce allegiance to Donald Trump, 74, and speaking out about the Second Amendment while proudly showing off a gun holstered to her body.
Boebert was criticized for speaking approvingly of the QAnon conspiracy theory in the past and continued raising eyebrows after she was sworn into Congress in early January.
Days after the deadly pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol, Boebert and some other GOP politicians like fellow freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wondered whether lawmakers should be able to carry guns in the building.
Her and others' refusal to abide by the security measures led one fellow GOP lawmaker to stop and apologize to Capitol Police on their behalf: "I am sorry some of my colleagues are being a-------," Rep. Peter Meijer reportedly said.