Fox News host Tucker Carlson believes the mainstream media is using the surviving students of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida as a "human shield" so it can push for gun reform.
Carlson said there were "real questions" about guns that "need to be debated by smart people sincerely trying to make the country better."
"They [the media] are telling us it's a simple fix as long as you care enough. That's a lie and they're using children to tell that lie. Spare us," Carlson said Wednesday night on his broadcast.
"The rest of us also have a right to add our voices to the conversation," he argued.
But the criticism of the teenagers who have essentially created a movement in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day has been widespread across far-right punditry. Carlson said the mainstream media has used these teenagers as a political vehicle to advance a "simple" gun control fix that he claimed doesn't actually exist.
Whether intended or not, Carlson's implication is clear: The media is proactively engaging in a political capacity, and the students are not actually as passionate about their cause as they seem. This is a campaign Carlson started on Tuesday night, when he explained that the students were being used as "moral blackmail" by the political left in order to push for gun control and paint the other side as bad people.
He continued with that trend Wednesday.
"People become political activists all the time in response to tragedies. That's their right," Carlson said. "Nobody ought to attack them for it. We are certainly not attacking them. We never would."
He added, "Almost everybody is against school shootings. The question is, what do you do about them?"
"Now, if you watch a lot of cable news, you know that the answer is simple. You simply stop taking money from the NRA and you do something about guns. Not anything specific, just something," Carlson said smugly. "But first, you have to defeat the evil conservatives who love school massacres. Once do you that, the violence will go away like magic. That's [what] the demagogues on the other channels are telling you. They use the traumatized children of Parkland as a human shield. Ask them what they are calling for, ask them to describe these policies that will supposedly fix everything."
He continued, "And these childless news anchors screech that you are attacking the children."
If Carlson paid any real attention to the voices of the teenagers, he would have heard what they have demanded from their lawmakers, because handfuls of them have spoken eloquently and passionately about their feelings.
Carlson raised several questions he deemed important, such as how to increase mental health background checks without impeding the rights of military veterans who may suffer from PTSD or the rights of potential domestics abusers who have never previously been convicted of a crime.
"We're not sure of the answers to those [questions], but we're positive they are real questions that need to be debated and considered by smart people sincerely trying to make the country better," he said. Has Carlson ever honestly wanted to have that debate?
The Fox News host operated from the standpoint that conservative voices have somehow been marginalized and lost amidst the wave of gun reform sentiments across the country, when in reality they've been the first ones to tell others not to talk about it.