He’s not wrong.
Survivors of last week’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have been making the rounds, appearing on TV and in print, expressing their shock, their grief, and their belief that somebody should do something about gun violence in this nation.
Let’s be clear: These are teenagers. They’re idealistic and emotional. Most of us can remember what it was to be that young and relatively out of touch with some of the bigger issues of the day, or why our rights and freedoms in this nation should be jealously protected. Even gun ownership rights, per the Second Amendment.
Most, if not all of us, have been blessed not to have to endure what these kids endured on February 14, 2018, so extending a little patience and grace their way during this time is just the right thing to do.
What you don’t do is go after those kids, as did a staffer for Florida state Rep. Shawn Harrison.
A staffer for Florida state Rep. Shawn Harrison (R) said the two high schoolers who survived the tragedy pictured in a Tampa Bay Times story about the students criticizing Rubio and other lawmakers are “not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.”
That’s the hot new thing among the tinfoil hat wearers of the InfoWars variety. They believe that some shadowy government agency, intent on gun-grabbing is employing actors to show up and cry on cue, every time there’s another mass shooting.
These people are not targeting the kids of Parkland, Florida, claiming the pain being expressed on our TV screens and in newspaper interviews is an elaborate red flag hoax.
This nonsense began in 2012, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Twenty elementary-aged children and 6 teachers died in that attack, perpetrated by a mentally ill 20-year old, by the name of Adam Lanza.
The picture of horrified, screaming little children being led out of the school is gut-wrenching, to this day.
Conspiracy theorist began suggesting that the children killed that day were actually showing up in other places, and would post what they claimed to be photo evidence of the fact.
I’m sure that gave their parents peace.
Now these nutjobs are seeing “crisis actors” everywhere, and it’s despicable.
After Harrison’s staffer had his say, Senator Marco Rubio moved in and had his say. And it was awesome.
Claiming some of the students on tv after #Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 20, 2018
He’s absolutely right.
You don’t have to agree with what these kids are saying. What you don’t do is attack them or try and lessen the very real trauma they have experienced, because of a political agenda. Even if you’re on the right side of the issue.
Rep. Harrison also chimed in with an answer to his staffer’s comments:
I was just made aware that my aide made an insensitive and inappropriate allegation about Parkland students today. I have spoken to him and placed him on leave until we determine an appropriate course of action. I do not share his opinion and he did so without my knowledge.
— Shawn Harrison (@ShawnHarrisonFL) February 20, 2018
Good for him. That was the right move.
I’m not going to say the guy needs to be fired, but he needs to be made to think hard about what he said.
And if you must say something in response to the seeming current trend of rushing those traumatized kids in front of cameras, move carefully.
Former GOP Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.) said Tuesday that while he was “heartbroken” for the survivors of the tragedy, “their sorrow can very easily be hijacked by left-wing groups who have an agenda.”
That’s true, and we’re already seeing it, as we see after every event like this. We have to walk a fine line, however. The absolute wrong move is to go on the defensive and attack those directly affected by the attack, allowing for the gun-grabbing left to look like the compassionate ones.
We all know their “compassion” has a purpose. Just don’t fall into that trap.