How Gun Control Activism Has Created Backlash Following Mass Shootings

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

I get sick of the gun control crowd. In particular, how they latch onto every mass shooting, spouting off how we need gun control, often before we even know the details of the shooting. None of it matters to them. There’s a shooting and that means we need to ban “assault weapons,” even if the killer used a handgun. We need universal background checks, even if the killer stole his gun or even purchased it from a gun store.


And now, a backlash is brewing on this.

For example, the kids from STEM School Highlands Ranch are speaking out about how a vigil for a fallen classmate turned out to be nothing more than a gun control rally.

Footage of what happened next has since gone viral as hundreds of grieving STEM students, parents, and community members stormed out of the event in protest, calling it a “political stunt” after politicians and other speakers spoke about the need for stronger gun control laws.

“I don’t know why they thought that would be appropriate to do,” said 16-year-old Maximus, who did not want to give his last name. “There’s a time to have that discussion … that’s something that we need to address as a society, but the day after a child dies at a vigil for that child is not one to do it.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, BuzzFeed News spoke to seven STEM students who walked out of the vigil about their reaction to it, and what they want to see come out of their school’s tragedy. The students, still in mourning, said they want to see change to prevent another senseless attack but aren’t ready to join the debate. They don’t want to be used as “props” in politicians’ agendas, and above all, they just want to remember Kendrick Castillo.

“We’re not like other victims where we want to just immediately go out and start campaigning,” said a STEM senior and friend of Castillo’s who wanted to remain anonymous. “We just want to mourn Kendrick and share his life and share his sacrifice with the rest of the world.”


And, honestly, that’s not unreasonable. In the immediate aftermath of losing someone you care about in a mass shooting like this, the last thing you care about is politics. Believe me, I know.

Yet that’s what’s immediately pushed.

I’m not the only one talking about it, either.

Parkland high school father Andrew Pollack says Democrats use school shootings as “an opportunity” to push more gun control.

Pollack’s daughter Meadow was killed in the February 14, 2018, attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “The media and national Democrat politicians didn’t care about the families or why it happened. To them, my daughter’s murder was just an opportunity to promote their gun control agenda.”

Pollack continued, “We protect airports. We protect concerts, stadiums, embassies, the Department of Education that I walked in today that has a security guard in the elevator. How do you think that makes me feel? In the elevator, they got a security guard.”

Yet he stressed his view that Democrat politicians do not take protecting schools as seriously, that they instead are reactionary, using the school shootings as justification for more gun laws.

Pollack is absolutely correct.

Mass shootings are opportunities to anti-gunners. They represent a chance to latch onto sympathy to try to push for anti-gun laws while emotions are high. They routinely use the bodies of the slain as a soapbox from which they can push their agenda far and wide, then point to those same bodies as evidence their opposition needs to shut up.


It’s good to see there’s finally pushback on this. Anti-gunners have gotten away with it for years, with virtually no one outside of the Second Amendment media calling them on it.

Now, they’re being called on it, and it’s glorious.

I despise having to get political in the aftermath of a shooting. I loathe it. However, I don’t get the options of mourning and remembering those who are no longer here due to the same kinds of acts. My job means I need to respond to their nonsense, which means I have to delve into it myself.

It needs to end.

Do the kids from Highlands Ranch favor gun control? Maybe. If they don’t know, they might in the future. Then again, they might recognize that gun control failed.

Frankly, I don’t care right now. On this matter, I agree with them entirely.

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