School Shooting Survivors Call For a March on Washington as Trump Blames and Exploits Them

Protest at the Broward County Federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Image via AP.
Protest at the Broward County Federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Image via AP.

It took less than 24 hours for Republican lawmakers to rush to the defense of AR-15s after a 19-year-old killed 17 people with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. On Thursday, Marco Rubio–who has received $3.3 million from the NRA as of October, according to the New York Times–said on the senate floor that “someone who has decided to commit this crime, they will find a way to get the gun to do it.” Florida Governor Rick Scott, who also holds an “A+” grade from the NRA, slithered around Wolf Blitzer’s questions about concrete policy change, remarking that he wants to ensure “we don’t trample on anybody’s constitutional rights.”

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In the absence of compassionate, reasonable leaders, traumatized student survivors–who’ve been harangued by media requests, shadowed by helicopters during a vigil, and even blamed by Trump for not having reported the “signs” this week–have vowed to take up the issue of gun control. On Sunday morning, 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that they have called for a march on Washington and throughout the US for gun control on March 24th.

“This isn’t about the GOP, this isn’t about the Democrats. This is about the adults,” Kasky said. “We feel neglected, and at this point, you’re either with us, or you’re against us.”

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“It’s scary to think that these are the kinds of people who are making our laws when our community just took 17 bullets to the heart,” he had told Anderson Cooper on Friday. “It feels like the only people who don’t care are the people making the laws.”

At a rally held by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students yesterday, senior Emma Gonzalez read Trump’s Thursday tweet blaming the students themselves for not reporting the signs that the shooter was “mentally disturbed.”

“We need to pay attention to the fact that this wasn’t just a mental health issue,” she shouted into a front of a battery of cameras and microphones. “He wouldn’t have harmed that many people with a knife!”

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Late last night, Trump pivoted to blame the Russia investigation for allowing the shooting to happen.

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Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

It absolutely blows my mind that Republicans can balance the cognitive dissonance of “look, an angry teenager is always just going to be able to somehow source a semi-automatic rifle, even if they’re illegal and rare and strictly controlled and almost impossible to get ammunition for, never mind that literally no other country has this problem on anything close to this scale, it’s just not worth imposing any regulations because a potential shooter will never be delayed or dissuaded, let’s not even try to try despite children regularly being shot and killed in schools” and, in the next breath, “let’s impose waiting periods on a necessary and time-sensitive medical procedure, because forcing someone to wait for a day might put them off getting an abortion altogether, and that breach of their freedom to access necessary healthcare is worth that nebulous gain to possibly prevent a foetus from being terminated”.