Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona condemned the recent statements by Arizona GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake as potentially inciting violence. During an interview on NBC News‘ “Meet the Press,” Kelly responded to Lake’s comments made at a campaign event, where she suggested her supporters prepare for battle by metaphorically arming themselves.

Lake’s rhetoric included urging her followers to “strap on our seat belt, put on our helmet or your Kari Lake ball cap, wear the armor of God, and maybe strap on a Glock on the side of us just in case.” These words were first reported by NBC News from a campaign gathering last month.

Expressing his concerns, Kelly, a Democrat and advocate for responsible speech, emphasized the importance of careful communication by political figures to avoid real-world violence. “When you’re a candidate for the United States Senate, you need to be careful with your words,” Kelly told moderator Kristen Welker. He urged political leaders to foster a more constructive and peaceful discourse, reflecting on his personal tragedy in 2011 when his wife, former Representative Gabby Giffords, was gravely injured in a shooting incident that also claimed six lives.

Kelly’s critique comes at a critical time as Lake, a former television news anchor making her second bid for office after a narrow defeat in the 2022 gubernatorial race, competes for an open Senate seat against Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego, whom Kelly has endorsed. The senator’s call to reject inflammatory rhetoric underscores a broader appeal for a political environment where the outcomes of elections are respected and where leaders strive to guide the nation toward unity and safety.



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