On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people from across the country flooded the streets of Washington, D.C., to take part in the March for Our Lives, a student-led rally demanding stricter gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, Florida, last month. According to organizers of the march, more than 840 smaller protests were also held around the world in memory of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre and to draw attention to the epidemic of gun violence.
Despite receiving massive support and donations for their cause, the student activists were subjected to a considerable amount of criticism. Here are five of the most ridiculous—and surprising—responses to the March for Our Lives.
1. Trolls Use March For Our Lives to Pontificate About “Black-on-Black Crime”
Even though the myth of “black on black crime” has been dispelled, that did not stop Twitter trolls from using the pseudo-argument to deflect attention away from March for Our Lives and the work that the activists are doing to raise awareness about gun violence in communities of color. It also neglects the work being done by local organizations like LIFE, Camp Inc and Street Corner Resources to combat violence in urban areas. Right-wing pundit John Cardillo was just one of the people who tweeted about the “epidemic level” of black-on-black murder.
Protesting legal guns which are used in less than 1% of gun crimes.
Still dead silent on epidemic level Black on Black murder. https://t.co/nUtrV0f2Kr
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) March 24, 2018
#MarchForOurLives marchers are idiots. Guns save lives and where were you people during the slaughter in Chicago with black on black crime?!?! Fools.
— Sara Newton (@RoseVictorian) March 24, 2018
No. We can ask that every day. City has most black on black crime in nation and all illegal guns being used. Gun laws don’t work— Gary Lyons (@_garylyons) March 24, 2018
2. Trump’s Daughter “Liked” a March for Our Lives Post Calling for a GOP Midterm “Massacre”
President Donald Trump has not shown much support for the student-led demonstration, but one of his daughters has. To much surprise, Tiffany Trump, the daughter of President Trump and his second wife Marla Maples, appeared to “like” a photo (from her verified Instagram account) of a poster that read “Next Massacre Will Be the GOP in the Midterm Elections” at the March for Our Lives rally in New York City, reports People.
Fun fact: The 24-year-old also dated Ross Mechanic, a registered Democrat, for years before the two split up earlier this year.
3. Mass Shooting Survivor Calls Student Activists “Disgusting Vile Abusers of the Dead”
Jesse Hughes, the frontman of the rock band Eagles of Death Metal, slammed the student activists who participated in the March for Our Lives protests. In an angry rant posted on Instagram that has since been deleted, Hughes accused the students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre of “exploiting the death[s]” of their peers.
The musician also said that the students’ activism for gun control is an “insult” to survivors of mass shootings, like himself. Hughes and his band were onstage during the deadly 2015 Le Bataclan attack where armed terrorists killed 89 people at the Bataclan Theater in Paris. Among the victims was the band’s merchandise manager.
“As the survivor of a mass shooting I can tell you from first-hand experience that all of you protesting and taking days off from school insult the memory of those who were killed and abuse and insult me and every other lover of liberty by your every action,” Hughes wrote.
He ended the caption, writing: “may everyone [sic] of these disgusting vile abusers of the dead live as long as possible so they can have the maximum amount of time to endure their shame….and be Cursed….”
4. Fox News Host Calls Student Activist an “Extremist”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg. “If you honestly don’t care what the people who disagree with you think, if you believe they want to ‘murder more children’ who are you?” Carlson asked. “You’re definitely not fit to be making policy for the rest of us. You are by definition an extremist.”
5. NRA Says March For Our Lives was Orchestrated by Billionaires and Hollywood Elites to “Destroy the 2nd Amendment”
On the morning of the rally, the National Rifle Association (NRA) posted a short video to drive membership along with a brief message on Facebook, that reads:
“Stand and Fight for our Kids’ Safety by Joining NRA. Today’s protests aren’t spontaneous. Gun-hating billionaires and Hollywood elites are manipulating and exploiting children as part of their plan to DESTROY the Second Amendment and strip us of our right to defend ourselves and our loved ones.”
In addition to speaking out against the rally, the NRA has been using the Parkland shooting to gain members. According to data company Pathmatics, the gun lobby spent six times its usual amount on digital advertising in the aftermath of the massacre, reports the Chicago Tribune. Average daily spending on online ads jumped from $11,300 to $47,300 within four days of the shooting.