We were told they were the future. The Parkland kids were going to change everything. Their status as survivors made them supposedly unquestionable and their passion was going to ignite the world to embrace gun control.
And they lost.
Despite their celebrity status, people like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez failed to affect any real change on even their home state’s electorate as Andrew Gillum fell in his bid to replace Rick Scott as governor. Moreover, Scott is moving to the U.S. Senate over Democrat Bill Nelson.
But the kids vow to continue fighting.
In the months since a mass shooting devastated Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida, the teenaged survivors who emerged from the massacre as empowered advocates for gun reform have been heralded as savvy, precocious and wise beyond their years.
So it came as no surprise when, faced with crucial losses in Florida’s senate and gubernatorial races on Election Night, those same young people were able to evaluate defeat with a kind of sage grace.
“A group of kids on a living room floor organized the largest protest in American history… a 63 day bus tour… over 200 chapters… registered hundreds of thousands of people… AND DEFEATED 27 (!!!) NRA BACKED CANDIDATES,” organizer and MSD alumni Matt Deitsch tweeted on Wednesday morning. “I’m so proud of all of us. This is the beginning.”
Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, won back seats in four of the six House races the gun reform groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords had poured the most resources into, according to data from the Trace.
And in a statement to Mic on Wednesday, March For Our Lives pointed out that each of the 35 seats Republicans were on track to lose in the midterms had belonged to NRA-backed candidates, a feat made possible in part by the historic youth voter turnout their movement had helped to inspire.
“While we are disappointed with the results in Florida, we are proud of the 35% youth turnout in our home state that made both these races even competitive, the statement read. “Our work has just begun, and we will continue to engage with young people in our state and across the nation to elect morally just leaders who have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and protect our lives.”
The NRA backs pretty much every pro-gun candidate in the country, especially Republican ones, and since most Republicans are pro-gun, you can see that the NRA backed a lot of candidates. To say that those who lost were backed by the NRA as if it’s meaningful is ridiculous.
Yes, they were backed by the NRA, and they lost. Yet a lot of candidates who were backed by groups like Everytown and Giffords lost as well. So what?
What we’ve seen is that these kids did little more than get a lot of attention without actually understanding the topic at hand. They pushed for laws based on emotion and a poor understanding of the facts.
They can keep “fighting” if they want. We could use more mockery fodder.