This week, the horrible events at Parkland led the news, of course. Among the many articles on the subject were:
It seems that just after the shooting, Russian bots jumped into the fray, posting pro-gun messages across the web. See for example this piece by Erin Griffin in Wired. This is really disturbing. It is one thing to post political propaganda. It is quite another to support the deaths of children.
Also creepy is that delusional Rightists are now saying that the murders were staged. It’s become so bad that Parkland survivors have had to issue statements that they are not “crisis actors.” See for example School shooting survivor knocks down ‘crisis actor’ claim by Nicole Chavez, on CNN Digital.
Not, alas, that it will help. The Right loves the idea of secret conspiracies. So it was that a state legislator’s aide, in Florida, claimed that two of the Parkland survivors were actually “crisis actors.” He got fired for it, which is good. But that anyone in any position in government would say such a thing is unsettling. See Florida legislator’s aide fired after calling Parkland students ‘crisis actors’ by Sergio Bustos in Politico.
Going deeper into the whole paranoid world of the Right and its response to the shootings, see also The Parkland conspiracy theories, explained by Matthew Yglesias over on Vox. It makes for unsettling reading, but at least you know where these lunatics are coming from.
Next, check out Pa. church plans to bless assault rifles, associates them with return of Christ by David Wenner. Yes, you read that right. There’s a crackpot church in Pennsylvania that has somehow linked AR 15s with Jesus and wants a special ceremony to bless them. In a word, YIKES.
And finally, almost as disturbing has been authorities’ response to student protests of the government’s failure to do anything about the gun violence crisis. When students in the Houston-area considered joining the student walkout scheduled for February 20, Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said he’s suspend anyone who tried. See Houston-area school district threatens to suspend students who protest after Florida shooting by Shelby Webb in the Houston Chronicle.