When the parents of a teenager who was one of the 17 victims of the 2018 Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., announced they would hand-deliver 1,700 cookies shaped like people with holes in them to the National Rifle Association Tuesday, it ignited a reaction from viewers watching KOMO News in distant Seattle that suggests the effort missed its target and then some.
The story initially aired Sunday at WPEC, a CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, which also owns KOMO.
According to the report, “Manuel and Patricia Oliver’s son Joaquin was one of the 17 victims in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting.” They were reportedly responding to a tweet from NRA suggesting Santa Claus could bring ammunition to gun owners in exchange for cookies. There is currently an ammunition shortage affecting millions of gun owners nationwide.
However, instead of blaming the alleged shooter at Parkland, the Olivers are trying to blame NRA, which had nothing to do with the incident, as noted by many of the more than 625 respondents to the KOMO story on social media by Monday morning. Many of the strongest reactions come from women.
For example, one woman Identified as Vickie wrote in part, “this is just sort of creepy and vengeful against a group that had nothing to do with their loved ones dying.”
Another woman, signing as Christine, stated, “Teach your children the value of life and they won’t take someone else’s. This is an education issue, not a gun issue…”
A third KOMO respondent named Joshua challenged the effort thusly: “NRA is at fault? Because criminals obey gun control laws right?”
And a woman named Sherry observed, “Kind of morbid. I wouldn’t want to celebrate my child’s life or death like that.”
.@NRA: you wanted to give Santa cookies, we’re baking 1,700 of them with @MFOLParkland @GunsDownAmerica for you to give to him. About one per child and teen who die every year due to gun violence. They’ll be at your headquarters soon. #OneCookiePerKid #EndGunViolence pic.twitter.com/bvaJ6QDW5S
— Change the Ref (@ChangeTheRef) December 18, 2020
The Olivers have set up a nonprofit called “Change The Ref,” whose goal is “to help end gun violence, promote gun reform, and empower young people, our country’s future leaders,” according to the story and the group’s website. It is not clear what “gun reforms” the couple might have in mind, but a Dec. 16 article in The Federalist identified six possible gun control ideas Joe Biden may try to implement when he becomes president next month, according to writer Ryan Cleckner.
- Banning pistol braces
- Banning homemade firearms/80 percent receivers
- Banning online firearm and ammunition sales
Shortly after the first bans, and if he has the help of the Senate, the next gun control measures will likely be:
- Banning “assault weapons”
- Banning “high capacity” magazines
- Requiring universal background checks
Cleckner is a firearms attorney, lecturer and entrepreneur, according to his brief bio at The Federalist.
With Biden heading to the White House, gun prohibitionist groups are chomping at the bit. In a Dec. 11 email blast, anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety declared, “Soon, we’ll have a president who will take the action we’ve long needed.”
The message revealed their short-term agenda.
“In its first 100 days, “ Everytown said, “the Biden-Harris administration can use executive power to take common sense and broadly popular action. While Congressional action is necessary to fully address the gun violence crisis, the new administration can take swift steps to make meaningful progress:
- Keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them by strengthening the background check system.
- Prioritize solutions to the city gun violence devastating communities every day.
- Heal a traumatized country by making schools safe, confronting armed hate and extremism, preventing suicide, and centering and supporting survivors of gun violence.
- Collect more complete and timely data on gun deaths and injuries, and lay the groundwork for modern firearm technology that protects the public from gun violence.
The last item is a cloaked reference to so-called “smart gun” technology, which is also mentioned in Biden’s gun control scheme.