The politics of Parkland Parents
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Excerpt: Some of the parents whose children were killed in the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting in February endorsed Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in his reelection bid on Friday.
Fred Guttenberg, who became an advocate for gun control after he lost his daughter in the shooting, led the group and praised Nelson for his support of universal background checks and banning assault weapons while slamming his Senate rival, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), for his opposition to such measures.
“In Florida, under Rick Scott, nothing was done on guns or school safety after prior incidents like Pulse or the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting,” Guttenberg said, according to a read-out from Nelson's campaign.
“Perhaps, had more been done previously I would only be known as the same small group of families that knew me as Jesse and Jamie’s dad.”
Scott approved a three-day waiting period for the purchase of long guns and raised the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 following the February high school shooting, though critics say that was not enough.
Hot Take: Fred, fresh off of interjecting himself in the Kavanagh hearings, is back to Florida politicking. It’s not the least bit surprising that he, or other, lifelong Democrats would be supporting Bill Nelson. What’s remarkable is the generally unchecked (in the media) rhetoric by Fred. His statement actually alleges that Governor Scott is potentially responsible for the Stoneman Douglas shooting. It’s one thing to say that you think Nelson’s stronger on the issue than Scott in your view. It’s quite another to go that far. Frankly it’s outrageous. And what we’ve continued to see is that as activists like Fred have continued to push the limit of what they can do and say without much resistance in the media, or by fellow South Floridians, he/they push it even further.
Ironically, the examples of Pulse and the FLL shooting, are perfect for demonstrating the failures in our system. Just not the way it was communicated. In the case of the Pulse shooting the FBI was notified multiple times by co-workers of the threat of Omar Mateen. They interviewed him multiple times but as we came to find out cleared him, likely in part due to their conflicts of interest with his father working as an informant. Had the FBI acted more responsibly the shooting doesn’t happen. A very different version of a similar thing happened in the FLL shooting. As we came to learn the shooter had been on the radar of law enforcement and even had his weapon confiscated. Mistakes were made, he got his weapon back and murdered people (incidentally there’s literally nothing the Governor of Florida could do to have impacted the outcome of that shooting under any circumstance). And then there’s Stoneman Douglas. We’re all well aware that once again the FBI over many months dropped the ball, along with potentially the school district and BSO. Yet, that’s evidently not the focus or concern of these activists.
I’ve often wondered why it isn’t. Why wouldn’t your focus and accountability be on and with the agencies that failed you and others? Is politics simply more important?