Last week was a sad one, not only for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, but for the entire nation. Two students, survivors of the mass shooting at the school in February 2018, have ended their lives in the past week.
The first was Sydney Aiello, the second an as-yet-unnamed male student. These two are victims just as much as the 17 who died on that fateful day. How many more will there be?
In the wake of the Parkland shooting, many of the students who survived the attack rallied in protest of the United States’ current gun non-laws, and they did a fine job making their voices heard. Those of us with live cells in our heads applauded their efforts and hoped their resistance was only the beginning. I thought their protests would help them, knowing that they were doing something positive to try to change this nation, to try to make sure this never happened again.
But while most of us were applauding these young people’s efforts, others were putting them down. Representative Steve King was one such … you’ll remember I wrote about his bigotry and racism just a couple of days ago. Mr. King put down Emma González, one of the leaders of the protests, in a Facebook post whereby he criticized her for having a Cuban flag on her denim jacket.
“This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp, after removing all weapons from its citizens; hence their right to self-defense.”
What. A. Jerk. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida … the state where the shooting took place … jumped on the criticizing bandwagon, as did many conservative media outlets. Could it possibly be that all the criticism played a role in the deaths of the two young people? First, they were traumatized by a classmate shooting up their school. Then, they found that they had lost dear friends and teachers. Then, they try to take positive action to ensure others won’t have to go through what they went through, and they are criticized by the very people who should be helping them! Gee, I wonder why they were depressed? I wonder why they felt that this nation had let them down. I wonder why they gave up hope?
For months, the name-calling and trolling of these young people continued, even crossing into conspiracy theories when it was suggested that these students were paid actors. Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, all nationally syndicated television personalities, jumped on the bandwagon criticizing the kids, not the NRA, not lax gun laws, not even the shooter, but instead the kids who are sick and damn tired of living in a country where guns are more important than human lives. In my book, every single one of these people have the blood of the two who died last week on their hands. That includes every single member of the NRA. That includes every member of Congress who has taken NRA money in exchange for voting against a ban on assault weapons or other gun safety regulations. That includes Donald Trump, who has been bought and paid for by the NRA. That includes every single person who puts his “right” to own a gun above human lives. These are the ones that killed these two young people.
The NRA and the gun lobby supporters in Congress keep telling us that “now is not the time” to discuss gun regulation. Our young people, the future of this nation, if indeed it even has a future, are being killed, and the idiots who put their 2nd Amendment “rights” before human lives have the unmitigated gall to tell us that it isn’t appropriate to discuss gun safety regulation??? To hell with the 2nd Amendment! THIS was not what the Founding Fathers of this nation intended when they wrote the Constitution. The damn fools have interpreted it to mean what they want it to mean. And why? Because a bunch of men cannot feel like a ‘real man’ unless they are carrying a weapon that can kill.
Meanwhile, children are dying … needlessly … senselessly. Think about it.