Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez links Colorado Springs shooting to anti-LGBTQ+ Republicans

A graphic composed of an image of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a sign left near Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs Colorado which was the scene of a deadly mass shooting

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has slammed anti-LGBTQ+ Republicans, telling them to “connect the dots” between their hateful campaign and the deadly Colorado Springs shooting.

A mass shooting broke out at Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ nightclub just before midnight on Saturday (19 November), leaving five people dead and at least 25 people injured. Police have since taken 22-year-old suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich into custody and are investigating if the deadly attack was motivated by hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community. 

AOC highlighted in a tweet on Sunday (20 November) that the Colorado Springs shooting and other attacks came after a long anti-LGBTQ+ campaign pushed by the Republican Party.

“After Trump elevated anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric, we had the deadliest anti-Latino shooting in modern history,” the New York representative wrote. 

“After anti-Asian hate w/COVID, Atlanta. Tree of life. Emanuel AME. Buffalo.

“And now after an anti-LGBT+ campaign, Colorado Springs.

“Connect the dots, GOP.”

The Colorado Springs shooting took place during a drag event hosted by a local performer at Club Q. Several club goers reportedly subdued Aldrich shortly after he burst into Club Q on Saturday, preventing further carnage, before he faced off with police. 

Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers told CNN that the intervention was an “incredible act of heroism” by “at least one, possibly two, very heroic individuals”. Suthers said the “horrible crime” “could have been much, much worse, but for these heroic actors”. 

People have gathered near Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to honour and remember the victims in a mass shooting

People have gathered near Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to honour and remember the five people killed and at least 25 people wounded in a mass shooting. (Getty)

President Joe Biden said that, while no motive in the Colorado Springs shooting has yet been released, the LGBTQ+ community has been “subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years”

“Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing,” Biden said. “We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history.”

He continued: “We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of colour. 

“And tragically, we saw it last night in this devastating attack by a gunman wielding a long rifle at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.”

People leave flowers at the growing memorial at the scene of the shooting inside Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado

People leave flowers at the growing memorial at the scene of the shooting inside Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Getty)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticised Colorado representative Lauren Boebert’s response to the mass shooting

Boebart, who is a pro-gun rights Republican, used anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric to push her right-wing agenda in the state. The Republican lawmaker wrote on Twitter that the Colorado Springs shooting was “absolutely awful” and such “lawless violence needs to end” quickly. 

However, AOC quickly pointed out Boebert “played a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies” while spending her time in congress “blocking even the most common sense gun safety laws”. 

“You don’t get to ‘thoughts and prayers’ your way out of this,” AOC wrote on Twitter. “Look inward and change.” 

Adam Frisch, a Democratic Party member who tried to unseat Boebert in the recent midterm elections, wrote on Twitter that he believed the “devastating” Colorado Springs shooting is a result of an “outgrowth of the divisive rhetoric” in the US. 

“This potentially hate-fuelled violence is an outgrowth of the divisive rhetoric in this country,” Frisch wrote. “It must stop.”