A lot of discussion following the Parkland School shooting has centered around the credibility of two young men who are publicly advocating for gun control. One of them, David Hogg, has been labeled by some as “a liberal media plant” or actor for CNN. The other, Cameron Kasky, argues that Russian bots are behind the accusations being made against him.
Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary, who is also an aid to Florida State Representative Shawn Harrison (R, 63rd District). Leary tweeted that the youth appearing on television were “actors” and coached by anti-gun advocates.
The youth, he argued, were being used by liberal media to exploit a tragedy and push an anti-gun agenda. He tweeted:
Here's the email. I asked for more information to back up the claim and was sent another email that linked to a YouTube conspiracy video. pic.twitter.com/VRSVOcjj3E
— Alex Leary (@learyreports) February 20, 2018
Leary was reprimanded by his boss, Rep. Harrison, who stated that his aide “made an insensitive and inappropriate allegation about Parkland students today. I have spoken to him and placed him on leave until we determine an appropriate course of action. I do not share his opinion and he did so without my knowledge.”
The state’s Speaker of the House, Richard Corcoron, weighed in on the matter, and Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that the claim “is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency.”
It’s understandable that elected officials want to curtail any negative or unauthorized comments. However, evidence suggests that an agenda other than school safety is at work.
For example, David Hogg was at CNN headquarters before the school shooting, pictured posing at its anchor desk, and wearing a CNN t-shirt. True Pundit noted, with pictures, that,
But now we learn Hogg was hanging out at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, GA sometime Before the school shooting. Before the shooting. Posing behind an news anchor desk?
This is not the first time Hogg has been behind the camera. In August 2017, CBS News interviewed him after an altercation between he and his friend with a Redondo Beach, Calif., lifeguard and fire department authority. The video reveals them acting disrespectfully towards the lifeguard and using profanity.
In response to claims that he was a plant, Hogg told CBS News, “I am not a Clinton ploy or an actor. I am a witness to this.”
But another teenager, Cameron Kasky’s tweet reveals that he and other youth had been coached before appearing on television. He tweeted that he wasn’t worried about “going off the anti-gun message” because he and other students “are practiced”:
We’re not afraid of people trying to exploit us. We’ve practiced. We know their slimy tactics. Thankfully, most news networks we’ve worked with are interested in telling the right stories. I am eternally grateful for that. Keep an eye out. Thank you https://t.co/hoc2zl6PPS
— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) February 19, 2018
Keep an eye out, for what exactly? Who is coaching these youth to argue for more gun control in a gun-free zone of a school system that wasn’t equipped to help a mentally ill student?
Kasky told CBS News, “You just gotta realize there are people who are here to help us. There are, you know, a couple of Russian bots who are not here to help us.”
Russian bots? Seriously? What evidence is there that Russia is involved in anything remotely connected to the Parkland School shooting?
Why are Hogg and Kasky commenting about gun control on television at all? They have no more moral authority or legal capacity to speak about gun control. The youth also do not appear to understand the Second Amendment or what gun control is.
Schools that have armed guards or staff have proven to be safer than those that don’t. Of all of the shootings that have occurred in the last several years, they have occurred in a “gun-free zone.” One need only look to the largest gun-free zone in America where the number of murders caused by illegal gun violence surpasses the number of U.S. military who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined: Chicago.
Gun free zones have only proven to be killing fields for the illegal use of guns. Criminals who already do not follow the law will not follow additional laws. Only responsible gun owners and policies can prevent gun violence, which these youth do not understand and are not advocating.