It’s now been one month since a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and wounding a number of others.
In response to the incident, students around the country, led in large part by those from the Parkland school where last month’s shooting took place, have sought to ensure that gun reform stays at the front of the nation’s political conversation. Towards that end, students have organized the “March for Our Lives,” which will take place later this month in Washington, D.C., with affiliate marches all around the country.
This Wednesday, during the lead-up to that event, a planned national series of school walkout protests took place. Participating students aimed to stay out of their classrooms for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 killed in the shooting in Parkland.
The wildly controversial gun rights group the National Rifle Association posted messages on the morning of the walkout protests dismissing the significance of the students’ efforts and reiterating their commitment to the ideals of gun rights.
One message posted by the NRA is a short caption accompanying an image of the type of gun used in the Parkland shooting. The caption, indicative of the organization attempting to turn the deaths of high schoolers into an opportunity to push its propaganda, reads:
‘I’ll control my own guns, thank you.’
Check it out below.
That message came after a video message featuring an NRA spokesperson railing against the idea that it’s reasonable to pass laws regulating weapons like the one used in the Parkland attack, even though it’s not as though they have some practical use besides killing. Evidently then, to these people, the freedom to kill is worth enough to make it not worth the effort to even just see if taking instruments of murder off the street would cut down on murder.
In the video message posted by the NRA, the spokesperson said:
‘Blaming good, honest people for the acts of murderers is wrong, divisive, and not the answer. Passing new gun control laws won’t protect our kids, because criminals willing to commit murder will never obey the law.’
The NRA spokesperson is correct that individuals aiming to commit murder probably aren’t going to concern themselves with obeying the law. If there is an actual smaller number of guns on the streets, however, fewer of them are going to fall in the hands of those willing to commit murder. It’s going to be harder to get a deadly weapon and those potential criminals without the means to obtain a weapon aren’t going to kill anyone.
It’s not that hard. No one is going around saying we should repeal laws against slavery just because there are still some modern “slaves” in the world.
In the video, the aforementioned NRA spokesperson goes on to talk about how we supposedly need to beef up security at our nation’s schools, reiterating an at this point familiar GOP talking point.
Check out the video below.
Let’s work together to secure our schools and stop school violence. We protect our banks, our sports stadiums and our government buildings better than we protect our schools. That must change. #StopSchoolViolenceAct #DefendTheSecond #NRA pic.twitter.com/98dWIv0giM
— NRA (@NRA) March 14, 2018
The NRA has already involved itself in the national conversation about gun violence specifically in the context of the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, having sent spokesperson Dana Loesch to a CNN town hall about the issue.
The organization also recently filed suit against the state of Florida after the Republican governor of that state signed a measure into law raising the age limit for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21.
Read some Twitter replies to the NRA below.
Featured Image via Samuel Corum/ Anadolu Agency/Getty Images