GOP lawmaker bashes shooting survivors on floor of Florida House


State Rep. Elizabeth Porter compared school shooting survivors speaking out against gun violence to letting kids abolish homework.

Florida State Rep. Elizabeth Porter is not only outraged that her Democratic colleagues support gun control measures, but that the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High had been led the charge of activism.

"We've been told that we need to listen to the children," Porter said scornfully on the floor of the state house, looking around at her colleagues.

"I do want the children asked," she continued sarcastically. "Are there any children on this floor? Are there any children making laws? Do we allow the children to tell us that we should pass a law that says no homework? Or you finish high school at the age of 12, just because they want it so?"

"The adults make the law because we have the age, we has the wisdom, and we have the experience," she concluded.

On Wednesday, the Florida House passed their mostly Republican-written gun bill, raising the age to purchase rifles and banning bump stocks. But Porter and her colleagues defeated Democratic amendments that would have added stronger provisions keeping guns out of criminal hands. The bill also opens the door to concealed carry in schools, over Democratic objections.

For Porter to compare children not wanting weapons of war in their schools to not wanting to do their homework is ridiculous. And for her to claim that school shooting survivors are too young to be politically engaged in issues that impact their lives is infantilizing and insulting.

For all her talk of "experience," Porter clearly does not have the experience of being shot at in the hallways of her own school with a semiautomatic rifle. And teenagers are perfectly old enough to know that they do not want to die.

Nor are the Parkland kids alone. Polls also show 70 percent of American adults want tougher gun laws as well.

One of the hallmarks of someone with maturity is that they listen to others. Porter is obviously not willing to do that. She has no credibility to talk down to school shooting survivors, or to write the laws of a state.