The Parkland Massacre Has Put the True Depravity of Many Conservatives and Gun Nuts on Full Display

We’re now living in a society where it’s apparently acceptable to criticize, attack, and push conspiracies against survivors — most of whom are teenagers — of a massacre that left 17 human beings dead.

Well, it’s “acceptable” if you’re a gun fanatic or a member of the right-wing media they follow.

To decent human beings, this type of revolting behavior is shameful and inexcusable. Even if you’re someone who might not agree with everything these survivors are saying or suggesting, common decency — and basic humanity — tends to keep decent people from speaking ill of those who’ve just been through an unspeakable tragedy where many of these young people watched friends and teachers die in front of their eyes at the hands of a monster armed with a semi-automatic weapon of war.

However, unlike Sandy Hook conspiracies which were mostly reserved for the sickest of the sick, attacking and pushing conspiracies against the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre survivors has officially become mainstream among many conservatives and gun nuts.

I’ve seen these survivors accused of being paid actors doing George Soros’ bidding, coached by the media to push anti-gun propaganda, and that one survivor, David Hogg, is an “FBI plant.”

In fact, this “president’s” own son, Donald Trump Jr., liked a tweet accusing Hogg of being a plant by the FBI. Just thought I’d throw that out there for anyone who might read this and claim those pushing these disgusting conspiracies are just a “fringe group” that doesn’t represent conservatives or gun rights activists.

This “president’s” son endorsed one of the conspiracies! Just like he was joining with Russia in doing right before the election.

While I’m sure quite a few conservatives will condemn these deplorables, while many others deny that they represent conservatives or guns rights activists, I’m here to tell you right now — that’s bullshit.

This type of behavior is exactly what lies at the heart of conservatism (at least modern day conservatism) and gun nuts. For all intents and purposes, the Republican Party has become the party of conspiracies.

It’s how Donald Trump got elected. Remember, he claimed Alex Jones had an “amazing” reputationin 2015! 

Furthermore, let’s not forget that Trump’s biggest “claim to political fame” came by way of pushing the blatantly racist conspiracy that Barack Obama isn’t an American citizen — a conspiracy still believed today by most conservatives who also don’t believe he’s a Christian.

Think about that for a moment.

Most conservatives still don’t believe Obama is an American citizen.

Is believing that as crazy as thinking that Sandy Hook was a hoax? No — but it’s pretty damn close.

To believe that our 44th president somehow faked two forms of his birth certificate, forged a birth announcement, and fooled every government agency that could easily verify (or disprove) his citizenship is insane.

Then there’s the fact that 68 percent of Republicans believe Trump’s claim that “millions of people voted illegally” — 68 percent!

To be clear, there’s not a single shred of credible evidence to back up Trump’s claim that “millions voted illegally.”


I’m sure most people reading this remember the Jade Helm nonsense from a few years ago. It was a conspiracy backed by high-profile elected Republican officials such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott based on the belief that Obama was using a military exercise to declare martial law and confiscate guns. There were people literally burying and hiding their guns preparing for this.

Is that as insane as believing that Sandy Hook was a hoax? No — but it’s pretty damn close.

And, of course, many of Trump’s supporters are many of the same people who believe that there’s an active “deep state conspiracy” involving the FBI, other U.S. intelligence agencies, the Department of Justice, Barack Obama, and even Congress to remove Trump from office.

Am I saying that everybody who believes that Obama isn’t an American, that “millions voted illegally,” and there’s a “deep state conspiracy” against Trump also believes that the survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida are “paid actors” or “FBI plants”?

No, I’m not.

But I can guarantee you that the overwhelming majority of the people claiming that these teenagers are “paid actors” or “FBI plants” also believe that Obama isn’t an American, “millions of people voted illegally,” and that there’s a “deep state conspiracy” working to remove Trump from office.

My point is what we’re seeing from many on the right in response to these survivors isn’t a fluke. It’s not a situation of “just a few crazies trying to make headlines.”

This is a problem that’s persisted among the right-wing for decades and it’s only becoming worse. It’s been brought to the surface even more following the election of Trump as he, himself, is an unhinged, mentally unstable conspiracy theorist. A man who, when reality doesn’t support the propaganda he wants people to believe is real, almost always turns to pushing some preposterous conspiracy.

What the massacre in Parkland, Florida did was put on full display the true depravity of many conservatives and gun nuts. These are many of the same people who believe that Obama isn’t an American, that “millions voted illegally,” and that there’s a “deep state conspiracy against Trump” who’ve gone from the far-right fringes of the GOP, shunned by most of those supporting it — to the mainstream.

Millions of people who find it acceptable to criticize and attack survivors of a mass shooting simply because they’re speaking their mind about guns and the fact that ordinary Americans do not need weapons designed for war.

I believe you can tell who someone truly is by how they react when pushed during a moment of weakness. Well, when pushed during a moment of weakness for this country following the tragic deaths of 17 people, many conservatives and gun nuts chose to belittle the survivors and push conspiracies against them for pointing out the fact that we need to do much more to keep our schools and communities safer — including passing common sense gun reforms.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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