To say that newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been a lightning rod of controversy since winning a (mostly) uncontested race for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District last November is putting it mildly. Several of her Democratic colleagues in Congress and gun control activists have demanded Greene’s resignation over her alleged support for conspiracy theories that claimed the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were “false flags,” along with speculation that the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 was actually the work of gun control supporters.
On Thursday evening, I reached out to Second Amendment advocate Ryan Petty, whose daughterAlaina was murdered at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School almost three years ago. I’ve had Ryan on the show several times before, and I consider him a friend and an ally, even if we don’t see eye to eye 100% of the time. Actually, I think red flag laws are the only issue that’s come up where we come down on different sides, and even though we disagree I appreciate the thoughtfulness than Ryan brings to the issue.
I asked Ryan to do an interview today to talk about his perspective and thoughts on the MTG sideshow, but when we started the conversation today he dropped a bombshell on me; he’d spoken with Majorie Taylor Greene just a short time earlier.
“I found out we had a mutual acquaintance,” he explained, “so I reached out and said I’d love to get a clarification from her. I’ve read her comments, I’ve read the posts. I’d like to understand what she meant. And so she reached out this morning, and we had a conversation.”
Petty says that Greene’s explanation for her supposed embrace of the idea that Parkland was a false flag operation was that she was responding to someone who had posted a comment on her Facebook page.
“She was responding in the affirmative to a quote about the school resource officer, Scot Peterson, who didn’t act that day. She explained to me that she was responding to that comment, not the comment that it was a false flag.”
Petty says that Greene went on to share a story with him about being on lockdown herself when she was in high school and how traumatic it was for her before expressing her empathy with Petty for the loss of his daughter.
“So, I believe her explanation,” Petty said. “I believe she was sincere. And for my part, I think we should be better than the Left. And so, when I had a chance to reach out and talk to her directly about her comments and exactly what she meant I took that opportunity. That’s how I think we should operate.”
Ryan Petty began our conversation by noting how opposed he was to cancel culture in general, and I wholeheartedly agree. I’m not interested in canceling Marjorie Taylor Greene, no matter what bizarre theories she may have floated, winked or nodded at before she ran for Congress. Like Petty, though, I want to know what she meant by musings like this.
“…Marjorie Taylor Greene suggested that the mass shooting carried out in Las Vegas, Nevada, in October of 2017 was part of a wider plot to push gun control legislation in a social media video that resurfaced on Wednesday…
“I’ve got a question for you. How do you get avid gun owners, and people who support the Second Amendment, to give up their guns and go along with anti-gun legislation? How do you do that?” Greene says at the video’s start.
“Maybe you accomplish that by performing a mass shooting into a crowd that is very likely to be conservative, very likely to vote Republican, very likely to be Trump supporters, very likely to be pro-Second Amendment and very likely to own guns,” she continues. “You make them scared, you make them victims, and you change their mindset. And then, possibly, you can pass anti-gun legislation.”
“Is that what happened in Las Vegas? Is that why the country music festival was targeted?” Greene asks. “Are they trying to terrorize our mindset and change our minds about the Second Amendment? Is that what’s going on here?”
It’s perfectly fine to have questions about the motivation of the Las Vegas shooter, and especially so at the time the video was recorded. I think it was understandable to have questions about whether he acted alone. Those questions actually came later, though.
Greene’s first questions in the video were all suggestive of the idea that the attack on concertgoers in Las Vegas was actually committed in order to justify and brainwash gun owners into supporting gun control, and not just by the killer. Are “they” trying to “terrorize our mindset and change our minds about the Second Amendment?” Who’s the they that Greene’s referring to?
Petty says he didn’t speak to Greene about any of her other social media musings that have drawn criticism, including the video mentioned above, but he did tell me that when is daughter was murdered, he actually did question whether or not he’d been on the right side of the Second Amendment issue.
One of Ryan and Alaina Petty’s favorite dad-and-daughter activities was going to the gun range, and Alaina’s favorite firearm was the AR-15. Petty says he did a lot of soul searching after his daughter was murdered, but ultimately came to the conclusion that the gun wasn’t the issue or the reason why she was killed. It was the young man who pulled the trigger, who also raised all kinds of red flags that were ignored by school officials and law enforcement alike. Those who had a chance to act and failed to do bear responsibility as well, according to Petty, but banning the gun used by his daughter killer wouldn’t have prevented the shooting, and gun control isn’t the way to keep other students safe from these kinds of attacks.
There’s much more to my conversation with Ryan Petty in the video window above, and I hope that you’ll watch the whole thing. As for Majorie Taylor Greene, I’d like to see her honestly and forthrightly address her past statements, and the voters of the 14th District can decide if they want her to represent them in Congress.
Gun owners too can decide how much they want to support Greene. I’m sure this will be an unpopular opinion with some, but I think Rep. Greene is benefitting far more from the Second Amendment community than we’re benefitting from her at the moment. I sincerely hope that changes, and maybe her conversation with Ryan Petty is a small step in the right direction and I’d encourage her to follow up with him. He’s a good man, and I think he could teach her quite a bit about being an effective advocate for a cause, if that’s indeed what she’s interested in. If, on the other hand, her priority is more about stunting for media attention, likes, clicks, or campaign donations, I suppose she could always try to spend a few more on-camera minutes with David Hogg instead.