Yesterday, an estimated 1 million students protested ongoing gun violence that most-recently left 17 people dead in Parkland, Fla.

As teenagers had the nerve to take issue with the growing threat of being killed in their schools by calling for gun law reform, ‘gun rights’ advocates were finding any daylight they could to minimize the impact of the protests.

In South Carolina, our own Governor Henry McMaster, who faces a primary challenge to remain governor, called the protests “shameful” and suggested that the students pray instead.

One of McMaster’s challengers Catherine Templeton called the national protests part of the “liberal gun control agenda” that was using high schoolers as “political pawns.” Templeton also called the walkouts a “Govt sanctioned march” and implied that State Superintendent Molly Spearman should be fired.

Morgan Roof, 18, whose brother Dylann exploited lax gun laws to buy the gun he used to try to start a race war at Mother Emanuel, reportedly said on Snapchat that she hoped “it’s a trap and y’all get shot”. She also dismissed the walkouts by framing them as racially-motivated. After being referred to police at AC Flora High School, Roof was arrested and found with marijuana, pepper spray, and a knife.

School districts across the state also did their best to minimize visibility of the marches, locking down campuses to media access and punishing participating students.

Despite bipartisan outcry over permissive gun laws stemming from school shootings and mass violence, the South Carolina General Assembly has stopped all attempts to tighten restrictions in response.

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