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Nearly three years ago, a teenage gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding another 17. The February 14, 2018, massacre led to one of the most dynamic movements for gun control in modern history, and it was all spearheaded by a coalition of students who were sick of being told that school shootings are an unfortunate reality to be addressed by thoughts and prayers.
But, as happened in the Sandy Hook shooting, a delusional and sometimes vitriolic group of conspiracy theorists rose up to declare the Parkland shooting a hoax. Today, it was revealed that a newly elected congresswoman was among their ranks: In 2018, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican, agreed with a Facebook comment calling the Parkland shooting a “false flag.”
Media Matters, a nonprofit newsroom that combats misinformation, found a May 2018 post on Greene’s Facebook page discussing Scot Peterson, the school resource officer who was later arrested for his failure to properly protect the students at Stoneman Douglas. In the comments, a woman named Stacy called what happened in Parkland “a false flag planned shooting.” Greene responded: “Exactly Stacy!!”
Media Matters also unearthed a December 2018 Facebook post in which Greene claimed then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, both Democrats, were somehow involved in orchestrating school shootings.
“I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control,” Greene posted.
Greene was elected this past November to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, an area northwest of Atlanta. She’s known to many as the “QAnon congresswoman,” having spoken favorably about the conspiracy ideology that has spawned multiple acts of violence. In addition to her apparent beliefs about Parkland, she has said there’s no evidence that a plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 and claimed that the Democrats who received pipe bombs in 2018 were faking it to “create a blue wave,” according to Media Matters. Most recently, Greene garnered attention for wearing a facemask that said “CENSORED” while she spoke during the House’s widely televised impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump early this month.
Several Parkland survivors have already commented on Greene’s false beliefs about the shooting. Cameron Kasky, one of the most well-known student activists, said Greene’s election reflects poorly on the Republican Party as a whole.
“Surprising absolutely nobody, a Republican elected official called Parkland a false flag,” he wrote. “The Republican Party is so cringe they should just go take a couple years to soul search and figure out why they’ve become so pathetic.”
Surprising absolutely nobody, a Republican elected official called Parkland a false flag.
The Republican Party is so cringe they should just go take a couple years to soul search and figure out why they’ve become so pathetic https://t.co/Q2Gzqe6NEp
— Cam (@cameron_kasky) January 19, 2021
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the shooting, and David Hogg, a student activist, both tweeted at Greene to share their very real experiences of losing loved ones in the shooting. Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s director of emergency management and an alumnus of Stoneman Douglas, called on Greene to resign.
Why did you call the shooting at my high school a false flag? 17 classmates and staff died- spreading conspiracies about this tragedy is disgusting.
— David Hogg ???? (@davidhogg111) January 19, 2021
Greene has not yet publicly addressed her previous comments on Parkland; her most recent tweet calls for President-Elect Joe Biden to be impeached.
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