Aide To Florida GOP Lawmaker Fired After Calling School Shooting Survivors Actors

An assistant to a Florida lawmaker was fired on Tuesday after declaring that 2 survivors of the mass shooting at a Parkland high school were “ stars ” and not truly trainees, echoing a conspiracy theory that has got traction on social networks following the fatal attack.

Benjamin Kelly, an assistant to Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa), apparently penned the incorrect claim in an “ unsolicited ” e-mail sent out Tuesday to the Tampa Bay Times ’ Washington bureau chief Alex Leary. In his note, Kelly recommended that Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, trainees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, were in fact “ stars that take a trip to numerous crisis when they occur. ” He likewise sent out Leary a connect to a conspiracy video on YouTube.

Hogg, 17, and Gonzalez, 18, are amongst a singing group of young weapon violence survivors who have actually risen to require more stringent weapon control laws considering that recently’ s mass shooting in Parkland, which left 17 dead. Conspiracy theorists have tried to weaken their advocacy by recommending, like Kelly did, that the survivors are “ crisis stars ” or being utilized as political pawns .

The response to Kelly ’ s remarks was scathing and speedy. Sen. Marco Rubio( R-Fla.), who has actually come under examination today for cannot support weapon control efforts , stated individuals pressing such conspiracy theories were a “ revolting group of morons without any sense of decency. ”

“ We are KIDS– not stars, ” composed a schoolmate of Hogg ’ s and Gonzalez ’ s on Twitter. “ We are KIDS who feared for our lives while somebody soared our school. ”

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran( R) fired Kelly simply hours after the questionable remarks went public. He revealed shock and anger at Kelly ’ s claim and released an apology to the trainees.

Harrison likewise condemned his previous assistant, stating he was “ horrified at and highly knock his remarks about the Parkland trainees. ”

“ I slipped up whereas I attempted to notify a press reporter of info associating with his story relating to a school shooting. This was not my obligation. I implied no disrespect to the trainees or moms and dads of Parkland, ” he composed.

Kelly ’ s Twitter manage appears to have actually considering that been shut off after he supposedly tweeted a quote from the Bible: “ And you will understand the reality, and the fact will set you totally free. ”

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