Yesterday in Martinsville, the campaign offices of Kim Adkins were vandalized with a threatening message. Gun safety reform has been a top issue in the 2015 elections, so the violent nature of the message coupled with the picture of a target was especially unsettling.
Yet, in reacting to the vandalism, Adkins' opponent, Senator Bill Stanley, told the Martinsville Bulletin that "There’s no way to tell what that person’s intent was or what the reason was. Even the symbol itself could mean several things." He went on to suggest that "hard feelings" and "negativity" on the campaign may have incited the threat, shifting the blame onto Adkins herself.
In response to Stanley's callous attitude, Democratic Party of Virginia press secretary Morgan Finkelstein said:
"It's supremely hypocritical that Bill Stanley sought to downplay the seriousness of a very real, very violent message in the same week he claimed to fear his life after an off-color Facebook comment. The meaning of this threat is abundantly clear. But what's truly appalling is Senator Stanley's implication that anything from the Adkins campaign warranted a violent threat against the candidate. That is a truly twisted kind of victim-blaming."