AP Photo/David Zalubowski
In the wake of any tragedy, someone is bound to organize a vigil. It’s something that we do. We need to remember, to honor the victims, to show our support of those who lost a loved one or who survived.
However, vigils for mass shootings aren’t vigils all that much these days. No, they’re anti-gun rallies. While pro-gun folks are expected to sit down and shut up during the initial aftermath, anti-gun voices can ring as loudly as they want. Gun control groups tend to organize “vigils” where they can advance their anti-gun narrative to an audience that’s particularly vulnerable at that moment.
In the case of Highlands Ranch, that’s no exception. What is an exception is what a group of students did.
Survivors of a Colorado school shooting walked out of vigil for their slain classmate on Wednesday night in protest of politicians and other groups using it as a platform for gun control, a local report said.
The students from STEM High School, where two gunman killed a student and wounded eight others on Tuesday, began yelling from the stands that they “wanted to be heard” after two politicians and pro-gun control advocates addressed the crowd, according to the local NBC affiliate, KUSA.
“What has happened at STEM is awful. But it’s not a statistic. We can’t be used as a reason for gun control. We are people not a statement,” one student said, according to video by KUSA.
“We wanted Kendrick to be mourned. We wanted all of you to join us in that mourning, but that was not allowed here. We all walked out. We were not kicked out,” another student added.
The “vigil” was organized by Tough Enough, a student branch of the Brady Bunch.
When Parkland happened, the media immediately latched onto students who attended the school. When they started spouting gun control, we were told we should listen because they knew. They knew what happens.
While many pro-gun folks didn’t buy it, some in the middle did. Some who were agnostic on guns took a step back and thought that somehow what these kids went through gave them a relevant perspective.
Yet here we are, more than a year later and following another school shooting, only this time, the kids aren’t calling for gun control. They’re demanding not to be used to justify gun control.
Where is the media on this?
David Hogg had a microphone in his face from the getgo after Parkland. Where’s the microphone for these kids? Where is the media attention for these survivors?
The answer is simple. They’re not the right kind of survivors.
It seems these teens are cut from the same cloth as Kyle Kashuv, another Parkland survivor, but one who refused to drink the gun control Kool-Aid. He’s remained firm on his pro-Second Amendment beliefs, and he’s gotten no end of grief about it, either. While he has gotten a bit of time with the media, he’s not nearly as well-known as people like Hogg or Emma Gonzalez.
If the Parkland bunch has a perspective that we all need to at least listen to, then don’t these kids from STEM as well? They too survived a mass shooting, after all.
Even if these kids are ultimately anti-gun but who didn’t want to have that conversation that night, I still applaud them. I applaud them for calling out the push by anti-gunners to use the bodies of the slain as a soapbox for gun control, often before any of the facts are in.
That needs to end, and survivors calling them on it may be the best way to shame them into knocking this crap off.