Colo. students walk out as Dems turn vigil into anti-gun rally

Friday, May 10, 2019
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

students praying togetherDuring a Wednesday vigil honoring a school shooting victim who was fatally gunned down Tuesday while eight other students were wounded in the deadly attack at a STEM high school in Highlands, Colorado, students walked out in protest when a Democratic senator and representative politicized the event – essentially turning it into a gun control rally.

Celebrating the life and heroism of 18-year-old senior Kendrick Castillo – who rushed the shooter to protect students and prevent casualties – students grew angered and couldn’t bear to watch Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) seizing the opportunity to politicize the solemn event. They renewing Democrats’ propaganda machine for gun control when they were given the stage to speak at the vigil not far from the Columbine High School shooting nearly two decades ago.

Dems know no shame?

Just 15 minutes down the road from the Columbine High School shooting that killed 15 – including the gunmen – and injured more than 20, Democratic officials were seen using the podium intended for mourning at Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and instead used it to stump for their anti-gun agenda heading into the 2020 presidential election … and students would not could stand by and watch.

Perturbed students from STEM’s Highlands Ranch High School were not shy to let their voices be heard when they called out the Democratic leaders for using their tragedy, tears and grief for their political gain.

“Clearly moved, many of the students chanted ‘mental health’ after Bennet and Crow invoked gun control during the vigil – and even more walked out of the event in protest,” TheBlaze reported. “Other students shouted, ‘political stunt’ and, ‘We are people – not a statement.’"

Approximately 2,000 attended the highly publicized vigil organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and virtually all of the speakers were politicians and gun control activists pushing U.S. Congress to enforce more restrictive laws curbing citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms.

But after listening to Democrats’ progressive anti-gun propaganda for half an hour, hundreds of students had enough and stormed out of their school’s packed gymnasium yelling, “This is not for us,” among other verbal protests.

“Wednesday night, the traumatized shooting survivors who exited the rally thrust lighted cellphones into the air and chanted. ‘mental health, mental health,’ as their hands and voices shook in the cold rain,” USA Today recounted from the event. “Angry students pushed and screamed at journalists, demanding to see photos they had taken.”

Caught on social media …

Kyle Clark – a local reporter covering the scheduled and impromptu vigils – caught the frustrated and despairing students on film – photographing them after they left the politicized vigil to hold another one on their own. Reporter Trevor Hughes took to Twitter and exposed Democrats for bringing even more grief to the already traumatized students.

“Frustrated, crying and angry, #STEMschool shooting victims hold an impromptu vigil in the rain Wednesday after leaving a gun-control vigil they felt inappropriately politicized their trauma. (They asked that I not photograph their faces close up, and I respected their wishes),” USA Today’s Trevor Hughes re-tweeted Thursday, quoting Clark’s caption under his touching photo.

Another local reporter, Jenny Brundin, also captured students escaping the hijacked vigil on camera and posted the images on social media with descriptive captions.

"What was so amazing about STEM school kids walking out – holding up lights in the drizzling rain to honor their friend who died, shouting for mental health services, sharing their grief into microphone – is this: teens’ worlds are hyper-controlled by adults,” Brundin tweeted. “Tonight, THEY spoke."

Along with the photo, Brundin shared a video showing the students chanting for the government to provide help for students’ mental health – not by taking away citizens’ guns through forcing through a radical gun control agenda.

"Powerful moment when STEM School kids spontaneously started shouting, 'Mental health! Mental health!'” Brundin captioned her video on Twitter. “Anguish at adults not recognizing their pain and the pain of their classmates."

Other social media users echoed the students’ frustration with Democratic politicians – who were ultimately seen as lowly as attorneys seeking material gain through injured car accident victims.

"These politicians remind me of ambulance chasers," one Utah woman tweeted. "Ready to pounce on the next big shooting with their gun control agenda."

Another Coloradan commended the students for not silently standing by as Democrats attempted to diminish the tragedy into little more than a talking point and argument for their gun control agenda.

"Love this so much! I’m so proud of these students!” another woman from Colorado exclaimed on Twitter. “After some rough political months here in Colorado, this was a welcomed sight & hope for our future!"

More accolades for the students on social media abounded.

“Kudos to these kids for refusing to be a weaponized talking point while mourning this terrible event,” Sandy Andreas tweeted Thursday. “The adults in the figurative room should be ashamed of themselves.”

Seek healing … not political dealing

A parent of three students attending the STEM school stressed that it was inappropriate and too early for activists and politicians to call for action through pushing their anti-gun agenda. She reminded the media that the horrific incident was still fresh on the minds of thousands of parents and their children who endured the shooting and the ensuing lockdown.

"We need quiet. We need familiar faces. We need to hold our babies. We will heal and we will rise stronger and ready to say, 'Enough!'" Candace Craig – a mother of three student victims – exclaimed Thursday, according to USA Today. "But right now, we are shaken. We are broken. We hurt for the families whose worlds were turned upside down with grief and loss. That’s what we want the world to hear from us."

Rethinking their strategy …

After the political activist group realized the negative attention that its event was generating in the media, it made a quick attempt at damage control and issued a public apology.

"We are deeply sorry any part of this vigil did not provide the support, caring and sense of community we sought to foster and facilitate – and which we know is so crucial to communities who suffer the trauma of gun violence," the Brady Campaign stated, according to USA Today.

Let us mourn

Anticipating the political nature of the publicized vigil at the school gym, a number of students got together beforehand to pay their respects and air out their emotions.

“Some STEM students and family members held a private vigil earlier in the day,” USA Today’s John Bacon and Trevor Hughes informed. “They said the public and journalists were kept out to permit anguished students and their parents a chance to grieve together – away from the media spotlight into which they have unwillingly been thrust.”

Enough is enough!

After leaving the politically loaded gym, students unleashed the anger they felt toward anti-gun Democrats.

“The students paraded out of the venue holding up lighted cellphones, chanting, 'Mental health' and shouting expletives at the media,” the Daily Mail reported. “They eventually made their way back into the gym, where students were allowed to take the microphone and get their message across.”

One of the returning students sorted through all the politics on stage and condemned the opportunistic Democrats for turning their grieving into a political statement.

“What has happened at STEM is awful, but it’s not a statistic,” a returning student (from outside) proclaimed at the gym vigil, as recorded by footage provided by KUSA 9 News. “We can’t be used as a reason for gun control. We are people – not a statement.”

Another student chided Democrats for turning a ceremony intended to honor their friend and fellow classmate into a Democratic election ad for gun control.

“We wanted Kendrick to be mourned,” one more student stressed “We wanted all of you to join us in that mourning, but that was not allowed here. We all walked out. We were not kicked out.”

School shootings in the United States – and particularly the Centennial State – are becoming more commonplace, forcing state and federal governments to find answers, and many districts are meeting the challenge by arming faculty and security on campuses with guns so would-be shooters will have to think twice before opening fire ... knowing that shots could be returned before making the decision to unload their weapons, which they typically have done into crowds of unarmed victims on gun-free campuses across the nation.

“Tuesday's shooting was the 11th on an American campus so far this year and the fourth in Colorado since Columbine,” the Daily Mail’s Megan Sheets noted.

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