On March 14, when thousands of students followed the example of teenage survivors at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School and walked out of class to demand stronger gun laws to stop the gun violence, students met with a number of lawmakers from both political parties.
One Ohio state Representative who had no interest in meeting with the students was Rep. Candice Keller of Butler Country, who had a great deal to say on the subject four days earlier at a pro-gun rally in Columbus.
Keller, a Trump supporter who is against gun reform laws of any kind and strongly for passage of an “open carry” law in Ohio (so people can openly carry guns anywhere) took to the stage at the rally to openly mock the teenage protesters from Parkland, Florida, and declare that she was “born” with the right to carry a gun.
“A month ago, we weren’t really having this conversation,” said Keller, “and all of a sudden a 15-year-old on television who would just as soon be eating Doritos and playing video games wants to tell me that my constitution needs to be changed. Really?”
Keller compared the students and those that follow them to sheep on the farm on which she was raised, who will follow anyone who leads them somewhere.
It’s incredible to see an elected official purposefully ignore the point of the anti-gun violence protests in such extreme fashion. Of course the kids would rather be playing video games and eating Doritos – it’s what kids do. But they don’t feel right doing that after seeing their friends gunned down before their very eyes.
As we have seen, there is a great divide in America today between those right-wing reactionaries like Keller who insist on their right to own firearms, even semi-automatic weapons that can spray thousands of bullets in seconds – and the vast majority of Americans who do not own guns and who do very much want sensible gun reform laws.
She may not value the heartfelt massages the students have delivered in recent days but despite all her protestations, there is finally a sense that a shift is occurring and the real silent majority is ready to speak up.
With every condescending quip about “Doritos” and “video games,” the Republican Party digs its own grave even deeper. A great many of those 15-year-olds who marched on Saturday will be 18 when 2020 rolls around – and it’s not hard to guess how they’re going to vote for when the time comes.
The midterm elections in 2018 are even closer, and all the signs point to the GOP’s fanatical devotion to their masters in NRA sabotaging their chances to hold their ill-gotten majority in Congress.
You can hear Keller speak at the rally beginning at the 40:49 mark on this video: