“Here we go again” was all I could think as I heard the news of the devastating shooting that occurred in Florida. It’s unfortunate that my first thoughts after being informed of 17 young lives lost are those of defensiveness. Maybe I’m a monster, but I don’t think so. Instead those thoughts are the result of 5+ years of experience of the media vilifying me as a monster after every shooting, because I’m a member of the NRA. Through it all, there is a lack of respect.
In this round, the media wasted no time in capitalizing on a ratings gold mine in the blood soaked halls of Parklands High School. Armed with their survivor poster child David Hogg, they flooded the news cycle with anti-gun propaganda, slander, and calls to boycott the NRA.
However, there is only one acceptable way to proceed after something like this. The first is to mourn, as a community, a state, and a nation, for the young lives cut short. Then after a respectful amount of time, to come together to solve this issue and find a way to protect our children.
Typical to modern news cycles, none of this happened. Instead, the young survivors were given an immediate spotlight and encouraged to use their voices against gun ownership. Who can blame them? After just seeing classmates gunned down, a certain amount of anger and emotions are natural and they did exactly what they thought they were supposed to do – attack guns and the NRA. Herein though lies the issue; any decisions made during a time of high emotion are rarely good decisions. The media’s use of emotionally vulnerable teenagers with no qualifications other than having been on the wrong end of a gun, goading them to speak about policy is irresponsible.
I waited exactly one month to write this article, because I refuse to be a part of the problem. I refuse to capitalize on the emotionally vulnerable and I choose to respect their loss with a moment of silence. Give everyone time to grieve, give the families of the slain time to mourn the loss of their sons and daughters. Stop forcing those of us who don’t buy the narrative to immediately go on the defensive and be villainized for the actions of another.
Unfortunately, the politicization occurs and consequential lines of discussion are forgone in place of one singular narrative: the evil of the young man that committed this act is brushed over in favor of a more convenient target, the gun. Important questions that could lead to comprehensive reform are missed.
What about all the other failures, other than gun laws, leading up to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High? What about the failure of parenting in today’s society that left this young man alone from birth to adoption, spending his childhood in a home without a father? What about the culture of political correctness that kept his classmates from speaking up about his odd behavior? What about the mental healthcare system that didn’t provide the care that he so desperately needed? What about the failures of law enforcement to act on any one of the 40+ 911 calls about the shooter in the months and years prior? What about the onsite officer and first responder’s failure to act?
While responsibility rests solely with the attacker, had any one of these factors been changed, not just gun laws, this shooting could have been prevented. Instead, the media placed blame on an organization that promotes education and training in legal gun ownership. An organization that can help prevent these tragedies.
How dare the media then, hint at any similarities between myself and this villain because I choose to exercise my constitutional right? How dare you suggest that I somehow care less at the thought of children laying dead because I choose to own a gun in hopes of protecting myself and my family? When you take a look at all the factors, the evidence, and the truth, rather than simply swallowing the emotionally driven narrative the media would have you believe, one thing becomes perfectly clear: to all the politicians sacrificing their integrity for a convenient scapegoat, to the media seeking ratings and to David Hogg; as gun owners – This is not on us.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.