If you spend much of your time watching the coverage of the upcoming March for our Lives event and the rest of the fallout from the Florida school shooting last month, you might think that David Hogg (one of the students from the school) was the voice of the community. He’s been everywhere in the media, essentially declaring war on the NRA and calling for strict gun control measures. So he must be representative of most of the survivors and their families, right?
Not really. In fact, when it comes to the families who actually lost children in the attack, they’ve been working behind the scenes on something else and actually producing results. Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act, with the near unanimous support of those families. They’re also working on similar legislation at the national level in the form of the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act which has drawn broad, bipartisan support. Unlike the weapons ban measures supported by Hogg and his many media cheerleaders, this measure focuses on real solutions, including the creation of Threat Assessment Teams (TATs) which will train students, teachers, and resource officers to respond to threats against schools. It would also enhance school security measures and allow for anonymous reporting of potential threats.
Hogg appears to be of the same opinion as the father of Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky, who called the bill “a hot steaming pile of NRA crap.” And, of course, those are the quotes which draw all the applause on MSNBC. But in the background, the families of those most affected by the attack are onboard. As Sarah Rumpf explained at Redstate this week, those parents signed a letter supporting the new Florida legislation instead of reflexively rejecting it and asking for gun bans.
The letter is signed by family members representing thirteen of the seventeen people killed at Stoneman Douglas High, but as Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was among those killed, told me earlier tonight, the sentiments expressed in the letter do reflect the wishes of all seventeen families.
As Petty explained, all seventeen families signed a similar letter and voiced their support regarding Florida’s Senate Bill 7026, which contained several provisions to which some of them objected, like the school marshal program.
Still, these seventeen families felt that the overall bill would have a positive impact, and were united in their support for it. Scott signed the bill into law earlier this month.
Some of the parents may not have been fully behind a few of the provisions, but they obviously felt that these measures represent progress. But since they’re not out there demanding a renewed “assault weapons” ban or starting a fight with the NRA, they don’t get invited to very many cable news discussion panels.
This is yet another illustration of how the narrative playing out in the mainstream media doesn’t reflect the underlying reality. The Parkland shooting was a tragedy and if something constructive can come of it we should all have cause be thankful. Unfortunately, it’s being deployed as a weapon of mass media narrative in the effort to force new gun control laws on the country, so opponents of more common sense measures are largely the only voices you hear.