Florida Leaders Keep Embarrassing Themselves by Attacking Parkland Survivors

Photos by Emilee McGovern
It is entirely possible to disagree with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students behind the #NeverAgain movement and the March for Our Lives without making a total clown out of yourself. Step 1: Don't spread insane conspiracy theories about the survivors of a massacre. Step 2: Don't make Nazi comparisons with the students who watched 17 of their classmates and teachers get murdered. Step 3: Don't threaten to violently attack or assault the kids who have already lived through an unimaginably horrific situation at school.

See? That's not so hard! Yet conservative politicians and commentators across the nation cannot seem to abide by these simple rules. Just last month, Laura Ingraham belittled outspoken student David Hogg, and a St. Louis TV commentator threatened to sexually assault him.

Florida leaders are not immune to the madness. From cops to lawyers to politicians, they can't seem to grapple with the idea of arguing about gun control without horribly embarrassing themselves and potentially losing their jobs:

1. The Parkland Education Advisory Board member who compared David Hogg to Nazis:
A member of Parkland's Education Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to that city's commission about its schools, apparently shared multiple memes depicting Hogg as a Nazi. An account that appears to belong to Wayne Alder, who is critical of the #NeverAgain movement's gun-control message, also tweeted an image of Hogg with his fist raised. "Parkland. Here is your future. I won't be wearing the Broward Brown Shirt," he wrote, referencing the shirts worn by Adolf Hitler's stormtroopers.

2. The North Miami Beach cop who got desk duty for spreading Parkland conspiracy theories:
In the past week, South Floridian Ericson Harrell has shared memes claiming that fluoride is dangerous to human beings, that 9/11 might have been orchestrated by the U.S. government, that trusting the government is "a form of mental illness," and that the Parkland shooting survivors are "paid actors" who helped the feds stage a false-flag attack in February.

Because this is Florida, Harrell also happens to be a North Miami Beach Police officer, which means he is the government he apparently despises.

3. The two Florida lawmakers who liked tweets insulting Parkland survivors:
Are you, perhaps, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who is sad or upset that a disturbed 19-year-old was able to buy an AR-15 rifle legally and kill 17 of your friends and teachers?

Well, state Rep. Jason Brodeur of Sanford has apparently endorsed the following message: Shut the hell up, crybabies. State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. of Miami also has a message for you: You're actually too young and dumb to understand what happened to you and are being used by disingenuous leftists for political gain.
4. The Florida lawmaker's aide who called the survivors "crisis actors":
A Florida legislator’s aide was fired Tuesday after claiming two survivors of the Parkland high school shooting were not students, but instead “actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.” 
5. The time "Florida Man" Donald Trump's son spent the morning promoting conspiracy theories about Parkland survivors:
Donald Trump Jr. liked several tweets this morning from True Pundit — a sub-InfoWars conspiracy site known for posting made-up stories — and the similarly fact-challenged Gateway Pundit that slam David Hogg, one of the Parkland students who has made several cable-TV news appearances to plead for greater gun control.

The site's big conspiracy about Hogg is that — hold onto your pants — his dad is a retired FBI agent. It's a fact that Hogg has repeatedly mentioned to TV reporters and is not at all a secret.

The idea, if you can call it that, is that somehow his father — who, again, is no longer with the FBI — is using his son as a televised mole to distract from the FBI's failure to properly investigate tips about Cruz by pushing for gun control instead.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink