|Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel visits 15 YO|
Florida shooting survivor Anthony Borges on Sunday
While it's been seven days since Cruz fired more than a 100 rounds into classrooms and hallways in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, today marks a monumental shift in the polarizing debate over gun control in America.
For most Americans who listened to some of the emotionally-wrenching testimony and comments earlier today at the White House in what was described as a listening session, it was hard not be affected by their words and the emotion in their voices.
With Republican lawmakers on the national and state level being eviscerated by mainstream popular opinion during the past week because of their willingness to place their slavish obedience to NRA gun money and archaic interpretations of the 2nd Amendment over public safety and reason, GOP leaders were forced to do something Wednesday they rarely do.
Listen to advocates of gun control as well as some of the victims and relatives of victims of the epic gun violence (there were 15,593 gun deaths in America in 2017) that is ripping this country apart.
If you didn't get a chance to hear the anguish and anger of Andrew Pollack, the only parent of one of the 17 killed in Parkland, Florida to attend the White House event earlier yesterday, take a couple minutes to check out Julie Hirschfeld Davis' New York Times article and watch the 27-second clip of him laying Trump out, or read his comments.
Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 killed last Wednesday, asked the question that so many different Americans of different ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths have wanted to ask some of the Republican politicians who now control all three branches of the federal government:
"How many schools, how many children have to get shot?"
|Thousands of students rallied outside the state|
capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida
He's one of many Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS students who have appeared on mainstream national news outlets or social media to express outrage and dismay over notoriously lax gun laws.
Intentionally-watered down Florida gun control laws that gave us "Stand Your Ground" and allowed a disturbed individual like Nikolas Cruz to purchase an AR-15, large amounts of ammunition and tactical vests without any red flags popping up.
According to a source that spoke with CNN, investigators say that Cruz purchased at least 10 different rifles; but his adopted parents claim there was nothing unusual about his behavior.
Sadly what's not unusual is the reaction of many conservative far-right extremists, who've taken to social media in droves to denounce the MSDHS students as part of some kind of liberal plot to strip away the rights of gun owners.
It's actually remarkable to watch the loony "pizza-gate" faction of the right-wing conspiracy troll movement become enraged by high school students who just survived the 9th worst mass shooting in U.S. history exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech.
Remember, these are the same folks who fetishize the 2nd Amendment as if it was hewn into rock by a deity that sanctions the slaughter of thousands of Americans each year.
|Republican Florida political aide Ben Kelly fired |
for forwarding right-wing conspiracy theories
As Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary reported yesterday, Benjamin Kelly, the district secretary for Republican Florida state legislator Shawn Harrison, was fired after he claimed that MSDHS students Emma Gonzales and David Hogg were not students at the school but "actors that travel to various crisis when they happen."
Both students, survivors of the shooting, have appeared on TV frequently in the past few days calling for stiffer gun control laws.
So trolls started the rumor that they were actors paid by left-wing gun control advocates and immediately started demonizing them - sound like a familiar tactic?
Frankly that's is right down there with Alex Jones' wacky claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged.
If you can stomach it, check out Travis Andrews and Samantha Schmidt's Washington Post article (reprinted in the Chicago Tribune), which offers a sampling of the right-wing sleaze bag all stars who came out of the woodwork to fan the flames of fake conservative conspiracy theories.
|Dinesh D'Souza kibittzing with Steve Bannon|
Whose windbag conservative pseudo-intellectualism has long since been relegated to the fringes of the Republican Party.
Why would a guy with a life-long Ronald Regan fetish take to social media to dance by the fire of a loony 3rd rate conspiracy theory?
Now that there's no Obama for D'Souza to bash, perhaps he was desperate to kick up a fuss and earn some street cred with the Trump-happy alt-right movement that ironically sees him as a dark-skinned foreign threat.
D'Souza had the gall to to use his Twitter account to mock MSDHS high school students who travelled to the Florida state capitol building to spend the day furiously lobbying over 70 different state lawmakers to enact stiffer gun control laws.
In an effort to show who's the adult and who's the child, when the Florida state House voted down a measure to debate a bill that would ban assault weapons, D'Souza gleefully mocked the high school students who had the guts to try and influence the political process.
Sadly, these shameless conservative attacks on these high school students (who have the nerve not to want to be shot and killed in their own school because of shitty gun control laws) were not to promote a rational policy position or anything, or offer substantive debate on the merits of the 2nd Amendment.
No, it was just to try and paint high school students who witnessed 17 classmates gunned down in cold blood in the halls of their school seven days ago as liars and opportunists.
Ladies and gents, I give you the modern Republican Party; whose tone-deaf actions in Florida over the past couple days probably just recruited a whole new generation of Democrats.