As students rise up to demand gun control the right aims to take them down, along with anyone who offers them support
After Parklands mass shooting, the wind seems to have changed. Students are speaking out, demanding that politicians act. And theyre getting some traction.
Many found their voice on Twitter and directly attacked Donald Trumps strange and distracted online response to the massacre. David Hogg, a student journalist who interviewed his classmates as the massacre was happening, has been one of the leaders of a chorus of students calling for tough action on gun control. Emma Gonzalez made a widely shared, impassioned speech which attacked the president directly, calling out the funding he has received from the National Rifle Association. Today, many of them are making their way in buses to the Florida State House to demand change.
The survivors are not elementary school students, or public employees, either shielded from media intrusion or disbarred from speaking out. They are confident young adults, many of them media savvy, and more than capable of matching the president when it comes to online snark. Several made it clear that thoughts and prayers in the wake of slaughter isnt welcome.
So what is a rightwing media apparatus dedicated to the maintenance of unrestricted access to powerful assault weapons to do?
By and large, the answer has been to attack the students, along with anyone who offers them a platform or any other form of support. The nature of such attack has varied with the self-perceived seriousness of the outlet, but almost the entirety of the right has joined in. Unremitting support for the current interpretation of the second amendment and the advocacy of the NRA is one of the signal issues that unites them.
The sleaziest and most direct attacks on individual students have come from the rights more conspiratorial fringe. On Jim Hofts pro-Trump, conspiracy-minded website, Gateway Pundit, Lucian Wintrich performed a hatchet job on David Hogg, suggesting that he was heavily coached on lines and is merely reciting a script. Wintrich once told the Guardian that he learned about the perfidy of the left while attending Bard College. In his new piece, he claimed that because Hoggs father works for the FBI, he may well be part of a broader anti-Trump conspiracy.
Conspiracy kingpin Alex Jones, who once told Piers Morgan that 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms, published a similar attack on his Infowars website. His minions trawled through Hoggs past, unrelated media appearances, saying that they raised questions. The piece then quoted one of their bevy of retired military experts who had appeared on Infowars, who repeated the FBI conspiracy theory, claiming that the bureau has been hiring Social Justice Warriors for years.