Sen. Mark Kelly: Kari Lake’s Glock Comments ‘Could Get People Killed’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty Images

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) raised the alarm over GOP senate hopeful Kari Lake’s suggestion that voters “strap on a Glock” to prepare for the election season, saying it has the potential to incite violence.

“It’s dangerous,” Kelly told Kristen Welker on NBC’s Meet the Press. “What Kari Lake said could result in people getting hurt or killed.”

For Kelly, the threat of gun violence is personal. His wife, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, narrowly survived a gunshot wound to the head in a 2011 assassination attempt in Tucson. That mass shooting resulted in the deaths of six other people and the hospitalization of a dozen others.

Lake’s comments came from an April 14 campaign rally in Mohave County, in which she told followers to arm themselves and be “ready for action” as the election period heats up. Echoing Trumpian rhetoric about unspecified enemies lurking in the shadows, Lake told supporters: “They’re coming after us with lawfare, they’re going to come after us with everything. That’s why the next six months is going to be intense.”

She continued: “And we need to strap on our—let’s see, what do we want to strap on? We’re going to strap on our, our seat belt. We’re going to put on our helmet or your Kari Lake ball cap. We are going to put on the armor of God. And maybe strap on a Glock on the side of us just in case.”

Lake, a diehard MAGA fangirl, has repeated Donald Trump’s stolen election lies and remade them in her own image, falsely claiming that the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election was “stolen” from her. Her preemptive comments to supporters to ready themselves with weapons for an “intense” election this year, when combined with her past refusal to concede other races and her dedication to Trump, stirred memories of the former president’s Jan. 6 speech, in which he told followers to “fight like hell” before they stormed the Capitol.

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That comparison wasn’t lost on Kelly, who would have to serve alongside Lake if she were elected to Arizona’s other senate seat. He told Welker he was “very concerned” about the possibility of a local insurrection if Lake refuses to concede a loss in November.

“We have Kari Lake on the ballot in the Senate race, who is also talking about how the 2020 election was stolen here from Donald Trump. Clearly wasn’t,” he said. “Same thing in 2022 when she ran for governor. She’s on the ballot again.”

He warned that even if Lake is not elected, her platform and sizable following mean that her words could actually incite actual harm—unless she acts responsibly to keep her supporters in check.

“Absolutely words can translate into violence, especially when they come from somebody who is in a leadership position,” Kelly told Welker on Sunday.

“And Kari Lake’s never been elected to anything—I don’t expect her to get elected to anything,” he continued, “but when you’re a candidate for the United States Senate, you need to be careful with your words.”

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