A high school junior pleads with his lawmakers to do something about gun violence instead of merely sending prayers.
In the wake of the nation’s third-deadliest school shooting in modern history, Trump’s immediate reaction was to hide from the press, and then blame the students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School for letting the shooting happen.
Other Republican politicians, however, like Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott, have stuck to their simple and time-honored script: expressing sadness, praising law enforcement, and sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims.
One person who is sick of the endless cycle of Republican empty words is 17-year-old Cameron Kasky, who was in the hallway with his brother when the shooter first pulled the fire alarm and began the attack. After making it home alive, Holden recounted his experience in a viral Facebook post.
“Stoneman Douglas is an amazing school and I couldn’t be luckier to go there,” he wrote. “We have seriously prepared for this type of event and on many occasions. Without our amazing faculty, there is a good chance many more would have been killed.”
He added that “those lost will never be forgotten and the entire community will come together and remember just how lucky we are to have what we have.”
But when it came to his Republican governor and senator, he had only contempt.
“Rubio and Scott are about to send their thoughts and prayers,” he said. “Those guys are garbage and if you voted for them, go to hell. You’re just as bad as they are.”
Rubio, who has taken over $3 million in contributions from the National Rifle Association, has opposed almost proposal to address gun violence, including restricting high-capacity magazines, adding people on the terror watch list to FBI background checks, and even a treaty to prevent U.S. gun companies from exporting to rogue states.
“Please don’t pray for me,” wrote Kasky. “Your prayers do nothing. Show me you care in the polls. Anyone who is reading this is luckier than many people today. Remember that.”
It is plain that when Republicans try to shame those for speaking out about solutions to gun violence, they do not speak for real survivors and their families like Kasky. The GOP should listen to those they have failed to keep safe, and do their job.