Donald Trump Was Wrong To Politicize Parkland Victims

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Donald Trump, while you were tweeting this weekend about how the FBI was spending too much time “trying to prove Russian collusion” with your campaign, 17 Florida families were beginning to bury their loved ones. That’s right, just 37 miles from Mar-a-Lago, devastated parents in Parkland, FL were saying goodbye forever to their precious children, who they sent to school on Valentine’s Day, never expecting them to be slaughtered. But you know what else they never would have expected? For you to exploit their tragic and needless murders for your own political agenda. How could you? How could you turn this massacre into an opportunity to attack the FBI because Robert Mueller is conducting his investigation into Russian election meddling, under the FBI umbrella?

Fourteen teenagers and three teachers were mowed down by Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, and all you can do is make this about yourself. Not about the fact that their promising lives have been lost forever. While the community of Parkland spent the President’s Day weekend wailing with grief and seething with anger about the country’s loose gun laws, you spent yours sending off a torrent of rage tweets, including one slamming Oprah, watching television and then golfing. What you didn’t do was respond in any way to the terror and horror of the attack on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, that was felt by the surviving students.

They were speaking out in interviews about how they are now consumed with thinking about funerals and what to wear to school so that they can run quickly if a crazed shooter ever attacks their school again. They talked wistfully about how before last Wednesday, Feb. 14, they had been focused on, “normal” high school thoughts — classes, college choices, SATs, their social lives. Now they don’t know if they’ll ever go back to those innocent days.

Neither, Donald Trump, did you respond to the students’ growing outrage at you and other politicians who have accepted massive donations from the NRA and have passed legislation making it easier and easier for virtually anyone to buy guns, including military-style assault weapons. Student Emma Gonzalez, 17, called you out for repealing President Obama‘s regulation, making it harder to sell firearms to people with certain mental illnesses. “They [politicians] say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS,” Emma declared in a speech on Feb. 17 to the heartbroken community, that has people calling for her to run for president.

Here’s the deal, Donald Trump. You may have politicized the deaths of seventeen innocent souls to serve your own selfish purposes, but you have let loose a force that will fight you and every NRA-serving politician — America’s students. Parkland’s students have channeled their grief into fury and determination to “do something” to change America’s lax gun laws. They are organizing a nationwide protest — March For Our Lives — on March 24th. Other protests are planned by students, including the National School Walkout on March 14th. And Parkland’s students and thousands of others across America, will not stop in their quest to make you and America value its children over its guns.

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