While the kids in Parkland have been speaking out about the terror they experienced when one of their former classmates shot up their high school, conspiracies are being born and perpetuated by the most despicable among us. This, after the death of 17 people in yet another school shooting. The hypocrisy is galling.
Donald Trump Jr. liked two tweets that tried to spread the lie that Parkland students Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez were "crisis actors." The President's pal, Ted Nugent, also perpetuated the slander, saying the high schoolers were coached and that Kasky is a paid actor. They were far from the only high profile right wingers engaging in this vile behavior.
Your aunt that lives in a red state may have shared a conspiracy post on Facebook, along with your cousin that you only see at family funerals, as well as that person you knew in the third grade. Hopefully, you don't believe any of this nonsense because if you do, I'm sorry to tell you, that you are being played.
It's not only conservative media spreading the fabricated stories, but it's Russian bots set up to destroy our democracy and sane thinking. I know, I know -- some of you find this all hard to believe, but we are living in the upside down where mind fuckery seems to be at an all time high. It's working, people. You need to be scared. But you also need to be listening to the kids, not trying to silence them like Trump, Trump Jr., and that aging rocker. We can't allay the fear of gun violence with more guns. We can't move forward with hope and positive change when people believe lies.
In case you happen to believe these frauds and are screaming at the computer right now saying how Kasky was featured in a short local news bit in California last year after his friend got into a fight and that must mean he goes on tour to speak out about teen violence, please, stop yourself. People travel; they go places. Not everyone stays in their one-horse town with their gun hanging from their pickup truck window fearful of their neighbors. Kasky happened to be in Los Angeles when an issue occurred between his pal and a lifeguard. There's no conspiracy here.
These kids aren't coached -- they are organizing, getting together with a common purpose because they are fed up. They have a lot to say because they are so well-educated on the sad fact that American schools are dangerous places where mass shootings happen. It's preposterous and insensitive to insinuate that these kids are paid crisis actors. These very same Republicans who are accusing these kids of getting paid to speak on gun control are the very same people who have received millions of dollars to protect the NRA. Let that sink in.
These kids are leading the change -- they are loaded with all they need to be the catalyst. They are articulate and thoughtful because they have endured too much. Kids are smart -- smarter than some are giving them credit for. Just because you were a dolt in high school doesn't mean there aren't well thinking kids who are juniors and seniors today. Just because our President can't speak in complete sentences doesn't mean no one else can, either. Kids like Kasky and Gonzalez, these are the kids who have grown up with violence in school -- they have had to endure things on a whole other level. They were born into a world around the time 9/11 happened. Active shooter drills during third period English class are commonplace. They are a force that only seems to be growing in strength. They are joined by their parents, as well as teenagers all over America -- some who survived other school shootings, some who feel they are just waiting for the time it will happen to them. The movement #NeverAgain has gained massive traction and NRA-loving Republicans are freaking out and scrambling to divert attention from what matters.
It's also very telling that some are quick to silence these kids, saying they are over-emotional and that we shouldn't be listening to them because of their age or relative inexperience in life. These very same teenagers are legally able to purchase assault rifles. See the truth. See the death that is all around us. There is no hiding that. These conspiracies are infecting the minds of the feeble while the NRA perpetuates the fear and makes millions from gun sales. More guns aren't going to "protect" anyone, but these kids will. These kids are more powerful than all of it combined. They are smart, they are fed up, and they are almost at the age when they can vote. They are the spark that is so very needed in this movement. They have lived with fear and anger and are putting it to good use so they can save their lives. They have to because the adults -- all of us -- have failed in protecting them.
Republicans need to stop acting like they care that kids are dying when pocketing support money from the NRA is clearly their number one priority.