As of now, you probably already know about right-wing conspiracy theories against the survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting. In addition to those myths, there has been considerable animus against the figures of the student-led anti-gun violence movement, including recent callous words from a classic rock celebrity. Responding to insulting comments from classic rocker Ted Nugent, Cameron Kasky — a survivor from the Parkland shooting — wished Nugent had seen the palpable fear and pain of those who survived the shooting. On Feb. 14, a shooter killed 17 people at Kasky's high school.
Kasky retweeted a report about how Nugent, who is also a board member of the National Rifle Association, called the young survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting "liars" and "soulless." Kasky also tweeted,
If only he saw all the tears. If only he had to look into the eyes I’ve looked into. If only he saw what this did to all of us. And here the NRA is, receiving more fear-based donations than ever. Talk about 'no soul.' This guy better apologize. Seriously.
Recently, Nugent went on the conservative radio show Joe Pags Show and called the anti-gun violence students "poor mushy brained children who have been fed lies" and were committing "spiritual suicide." When the show's host, Joe Pagliarulo, played some clips of Stoneman Douglas survivor Emma Gonzales calling for more gun control, Nugent said, "The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies, media that have prodded and encouraged and provided these kids lie."
The classic rock musician ranted on, "To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul."
Nugent isn't the only the one to have aired disparaging remarks about the Parkland survivors. He is joined by InfoWars right-wing media personality Alex Jones who said anti-gun violence students were "given scripts" on gun control. Then there's right-wing political commentator Dinesh D'Souza who said in February, "How interesting to hear students who can’t support themselves for one day giving us lectures about American social policy."
So far, Nugent seems adamant about his position as the NRA board member has yet to issue an apology for calling children devoid of soul.
Opposition to the anti-gun violence students is also present on news networks like Fox News. Laura Ingraham of the Fox News show, The Ingraham Angle, shared a Daily Wire story about one of the survivors, David Hogg, and mocked him for not getting into several colleges. Students have responded to these attacks, however, by fearlessly calling their critics out.
Hogg, for instance, called on Ingraham's advertisers to pull out of her show. Soon after his tweet went up, Nestle, Hulu, Nutrish, and others distanced themselves from Ingraham. Wayfair, one of the companies to step away from Ingraham, told BuzzFeed,
As a company, we support open dialogue and debate on issues. However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program.
The Ingraham Angle host issued an apology and said, "On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland." But Hogg rejected it and told CNN, "A bully is a bully."
Whether it's Jones, D'Souza, Ingraham, or Nugent, it's clear that the Parkland survivors and their allies refuse to let anyone push them around.