Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, the media wasted no time politicizing the tragedy, quickly turning students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School into mini pundits and “gun experts” overnight.
The students quickly became Internet sensations as CNN used its platform to propel the students into the public eye in an effort to aid the Democratic cause in pushing for increased gun control.
David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez are two of the students who have been most vocal about their support of infringing on the Constitutional rights of the American people to keep and bear arms, and within days after the shooting, both students received verified twitter accounts to push their anti-gun and anti-Republican views.
The instant verification of their Twitter accounts came as a surprise to both people on the right and left, as Twitter announced in November of 2017 that the social media company would be halting the verification process for all accounts after the infamous Charlottesville rally.
However, despite proclaiming that the verification process has been halted, and contrary to the fact that Twitter is still actively declining requests by conservatives to become verified, Twitter appears to have disregarded its news terms of service specifically for the purpose of propping up the left leaning students in Parkland, FL. The accounts of Hogg and Gonzalez were verified by Twitter within days of the accounts being created immediately following the school shooting on Valentine’s Day.
Although the mainstream media has chosen to focus and promote a group of five teenagers from Parkland who are all vocally anti-gun and anti Trump, two of whom include Hogg and Gonzalez, several other students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have also taken to Twitter to speak out about the shooting, yet they have not been verified. These students are pro-gun and Conservative.
Kyle Kashuv, 16, is a Junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, FL. Kashuv created a twitter account in the days following the school shooting, but he has not yet been verified by twitter, despite applying for verification.
A self-described conservative, Kashuv appeared on Fox News and called Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel out for “virtue signaling against the NRA”. Kashuv said he created a Twitter account because “it was absolutely necessary to come into contact with news agencies and media and supporters” so that he could share his opinions that differ from those of Hogg and Gonzalez.
After taking to Twitter to express his Conservative views that are less anti-gun and less anti-NRA than his peers, Kashuv said he received a lot of backlash online. “I heard from peers that there’s a general mass negative consensus that I’m against the “Never Again” movement”, said Kashuv.
Students in Parkland, FL have named their movement “Never Again”, but the purpose of the movement has been distorted as left wing students in Parkland with help from CNN have effectively hijacked the movement, turning it into an anti-gun, anti-NRA, and anti-Republican cause.
“I think the Never Again movement is to make sure that school shootings aren’t a daily occurrence,” as opposed to a strictly anti-gun movement, Kashuv said. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But it’s saddening to see that a movement with so much opportunity and support behind it has been turned into a movement with anti-gun rhetoric,” he added.
Since joining twitter following the February 14th shooting, Kashuv has accumulated nearly 55,000 followers.