In November 2015, terror struck Paris, France as Muslim extremists entered the Bataclan theatre with rifles, grenades, knives, and suicide vests. The militants killed 89 innocent concertgoers, and the horror that awaited investigators was unfathomable. Today, just over two years since the attack, and just over a month since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a survivor of the Paris massacre is condemning the March for Our Lives rally and calls for gun control.
Jesse Hughes, the lead singer of the rock band Eagles of Death Metal, was on stage that night when a hail of bullets rained down on attendees. As reported by The Federalist, the singer took to Instagram to voice his anger and displeasure over Saturday’s march. Hughes’ post, which has since been deleted, read:
Obviously….The best thing to do to combat chronic abusers and disregarders of the law(like the law against Murder) is to……..pass another Law!…..Genius!!!…… but before we pass this law we’re going to denigrate the memory and curse ourselves by exploiting the death of 16 of our fellow students for a few Facebook likes and some media attention….and look how well civil rights abuses as it concerns firearms helped to protect me and my friends in Paris!!!!! This almost sounds like the plan of like a kid maybe like a high school student….!. Oh wait that’s right…. The Whitney Houston song about letting the children lead the way wasn’t actually had operating paradigm for life…..And when the truth don’t line up with your bull**** narrative just hold your breath and stamp your feet and refused to except it…. then take multiple days off of school playing hooky at the expense of 16 of your classmates blood….!…. it might be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic and disgusting……As the survivor of a mass shooting I can tell you from first-hand experience that all of you protesting and taking days off from school insult the memory of those who were killed and abuse and insult me and every other lover of liberty by your every action…..Long Live Rock’n’Roll….. and may everyone of these disgusting vile abusers of the dead live as long as possible so they can have the maximum amount of time to endure their shame….and be Cursed….
Hughes received backlash from many for his comments, but others were supportive and thankful for his voice.
While one Instagram user replied, “you f***ing piece of ****!” another said, “Never stop expressing yourself dude. Stop for no one.” Another Instagram user stated, “Thanks for speaking up …of course people are going to hate because you don’t agree with whats (sic) popular.”
Following attacks like that in Paris and Parkland, the nation quickly becomes divided over political lines. The discussion rapidly shifts to Democrats versus Republicans and gun control versus protecting the Second Amendment. While the country argues back and forth over these issues, people tend to forget that the victims of these horrors have their own opinions on how to prevent these attacks from happening again. While America is divided over what to do to save lives, survivors are just as divided amongst themselves when it comes to the solution. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, this could not be any more evident.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Kyle Kashuv, and fathers Ryan Petty and Andrew Pollack, both of whom lost their daughters in the shooting, break from the rhetoric of Parkland students David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, and others who are calling for more gun control. While Kashuv, Petty, and Pollack lost loved ones or friends in the attack, just like the other students and families, their opinions do not make the national headlines as they are not calls for stricter gun laws. These individuals’ voices, without a media megaphone, are lost in the clamor of progressives chanting that the National Rifle Association has blood on its hands or that politicians care more about NRA money than the lives of children. Kashuv’s, Petty’s, and Pollack’s views take a back seat to the idea that law-abiding gun owners must forfeit their Second Amendment rights to give the political left a false sense of security.
At the gun control rally, organizers played a video of current and former members of the U.S.’s armed forces stating that American civilians do not need an AR-15 or “weapons of war.” But while these brave men and women are calling for more gun restrictions, there are millions of current and former members of the country’s armed forces that are not calling for a ban on AR-15s and are supportive of gun owners who choose to use them for sport or home-defense.
When tragedy strikes, an argument from authority creeps into political discourse. Unless one was a victim of the attack or unless one is an individual with relevant experience, their opinion is not worth hearing. How dare a person who has never experienced a mass shooting speak out defending AR-15s and the Second Amendment? How can someone who has never been in the military or combat speak up about “military-grade weapons?”
An individual who has a particular set of experiences has their views validated merely because of those experiences. However, if there’s another individual with those same experiences that disagrees with those solutions, they are silenced for not falling in line. For progressives in this country, only the voices that march to their rhetoric matter. Either all voices matter or none matter.