Stoneman Douglas Survivors March On Lawmaker Rolling Back Gun Control (TWEETS)

When the history books are written about the aftermath of the horrific Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a significant chapter will have to be devoted to how the survivors have faced down right-wing critics. They’ve not been shy about staring down people who have called them fake survivors and puppets for the left, or have suggested they turned Nikolas Cruz into a mass shooter.

And more often than not, the right-wingers have been the ones to blink. We saw this on display earlier this week, when Laura Ingraham got the bright idea to trash David Hogg for being rejected from several schools. Hogg simply started a campaign to target her advertisers–and within 24 hours, Ingraham was forced to apologize.

In other words, these kids aren’t afraid of facing down big tigers. But as the weekend began, they’ve turned their attention to smaller game. They’re turning the hot lights on a Republican state representative who wants to gut the gun control package passed in the wake of the shooting.

Randy Fine represents much of the southern portion of the Space Coast in the Florida House of Representatives. On Friday, he announced that when the legislature reconvenes in 2019, he will file three bills that will more or less neuter the gun control and school safety bill that passed on March 7. Fine wants to strip out the portions that raise the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, and bans the use of bump stocks.

While speaking at a school safety town hall in Melbourne, the first-term Republican offered a slew of talking points that could have come from the NRA, claiming that “the fallacy of gun control laws is that they work.” He claimed that people aged 18 to 20 are adults, and therefore should be able to legally buy a gun.

He also scoffed at the inclusion of a ban on bump stocks–which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like fully automatic weapons–and a three-day waiting period. His reasoning? They “didn’t have anything to do with Parkland.” Maybe not, but they are common-sense measures to prevent another mass shooting, whether it’s at a school or not.

It didn’t take long for the students to respond. Jaclyn Corin, the junior class president at Stoneman Douglas, was the first to target Fine on Twitter.

Corin was never politically involved before Valentine’s Day. However, the deaths of two of her best friends, Joaquin Oliver and Jaime Gutenberg, inspired her to join the “Never Again” movement alongside fellow juniors Cameron Kasky and Sarah Chadwick and seniors Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, and Delaney Tarr. Among other things, she helped lead several of her classmates on a trip to Tallahassee to meet with state legislators.

Within minutes, Hogg amplified Corin’s call.

That quote was retweeted by Gonzalez in short order. If Fine thought these kids were so focused on Marco “Senator $1.05” Rubio that they weren’t paying attention to what was happening in Tallahassee, he’s sadly mistaken.

The Space Coast is historically very Republican. Brevard County, where the region is located, has only supported a Democrat twice since 1952. However, Fine’s district is fairly swingy. According to Daily Kos’ database of state-level election results, Trump won it 53-42 over Hillary Clinton–but Mitt Romney only won it by 749 votes in 2012.

Fortunately, there’s a Democrat running against Fine–Phil Moore, an athletic trainer from West Melbourne. Just hours after setting up a Twitter feed, he let it be known that he intends to do what Fine isn’t willing to do–fight for Florida’s kids.

Here’s something to consider. Hogg, Gonzalez, and Tarr will all be able to vote in this election–and if this is any indication, they’re going to be working overtime to throw the Fines of the world overboard, in both Washington and Tallahassee. Kasky, Chadwick, and Corin will all be able to vote in 2020–and will thus be able to help fire Trump, if he’s still around by then. Hogg’s sister, Lauren, will be able to vote in 2022–and thus help make Rubio pay the ultimate political price for kowtowing to the NRA.

Allowing for overlap, these seven kids have well over three million followers between them on Twitter–all of whom will be fully weaponized for at least the next three cycles. Fine just got a very loud reminder that these kids aren’t going away any time soon.

So now that the kids have turned the hot lights on Fine, maybe we should put him on notice that a lot of people around the nation are watching him as well. Pester him on Facebook and on Twitter and tell him to put his misbegotten bills in the shredder.

(featured image courtesy Fine’s Facebook)

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.