The attack on the kids in Parkland began on Feb 14th, a week ago, and hasn’t ended yet.
The unthinkable attack at their school has been followed up with almost equally unthinkable attacks on their honesty, their right to have opinions, and questions whether they exist at all. 2/22 update: Now includes death threats
The way this onslaught has continued despite Nikolas Cruz being in police custody tells us that the Parkland shooter didn’t act alone. He acted with a legion of trolls and pols behind him.
It started with murder of their friends and teachers and continues now with well-funded campaigns on every news platform in this nation to frighten them away from the Statehouse and public square.
A segment of this country wants to destroy them body and soul if they don’t cower in lifelong terror and obedience to any asshole with a gun.
What we are seeing is a campaign of terror. This is isn’t politics. It isn’t an airing of different approaches to a common problem. It is a campaign of terror aimed at stopping the political process from even taking place.
That is why politicians have a hard choice to make. Whatever their political stripes, whatever helpful history they’ve shared in the past, right now they must fundamentally reject the NRA and all their money. The flooding of NRA talking points through verified Russian troll accounts this week isn’t likely a coincidence. They are under FBI investigation for taking millions of dollars from Russia, allegedly in collaboration with the Russian attacks on our elections in ways that violate numerous election laws. The NRA’s board member, Ted Nugent, today joined in promoting the slander against the students as well.
Any politician who decides that the NRA has gone too far can take a pledge today to return any funds they’ve received from the NRA and never take their money again at NoNRAMoney.org. It’s not too late. Renounce them now and be a part of the solution.
Generally, it’s easy for politicians to distance themselves from the shooters in a massacre like this. Most of them have no record of ever shooting innocent people (although here in Florida you’d be surprised by what you find in a thorough background check of a lot of elected officials).
But politicians who take money from the NRA today can’t distance themselves from Parkland. With NRA donors in Russia using NRA talking points to repeatedly attack Florida’s kids, politicians who don’t want to be complicit need to distance themselves from the NRA.
While the student survivors are getting the brunt of the attack, it’s a machine designed to rain hatred, rage and lies down on every single one of us. I’m one of millions of moms in Florida agonizing over our children’s safety right now, and speaking up online about our support for comprehensive gun control legislation.
And here come the trolls. Some clearly have fake accounts with nothing but a profile picture and a start date before the 2016 election. But some are our neighbors, saturated with fear and Fox News. They started throwing down with derision for any gun control solution, poison for ‘libtards’, and a unconvincing interest in mental health. But mostly they bully people, working to discourage a whole community that felt clear suddenly that surely something could be done about this problem.
I also challenge my neighbors to take the citizen’s pledge on the NoNRAMoney.org website. Voters can pledge to never vote for a politician who takes NRA money.
While activists like me are working right now on the massive task of offering the NoNRAMoney.org pledge to every elected official and candidate in our state, the project must also be undertaken to somehow bring this challenge to Florida voters.
It’s a very big job, but there has to be a way to do it. Because at the end of the day we love our kids more than they love their guns. Their threats will not be enough to make us resign ourselves to letting our children continue to be killed.