When it comes to personally attacking those who have suffered from gun violence, pro-gun activists are neither shy nor hesitant. We were reminded of that recently at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Facebook page when a number of pro-gunners engaged in a vicious broadsides against Eddie Weingart of the Project to End Gun Violence.
Eddie was featured in a recent cover pic at our Facebook page holding a sign that read, “I’M A VICTIM OF GUN VIOLENCE.” The photo was taken at a protest outside a GOP fundraiser for New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte on July 29, 2013. Eddie stood alongside other victims and survivors of gun violence that night to call attention to Senator Ayotte’s vote against expanding background checks on gun purchasers on April 17, 2013.
His personal story is horrific. On February 22, 1981, Eddie was two and a half years old when his 43 year-old mother, Mary, got into an argument with her ex-husband, Bill. Eddie watched as Bill leveled a 12-gauge shotgun and shot Mary in the back as she ran away from him, killing her. Bill then placed the barrel of his shotgun in Eddie’s mouth and pulled the trigger twice. The gun misfired both times.
Pro-gun activists swarmed our cover pic in which Eddie appeared, reacting with amusement and anger. “The guy on the right certainly doesnt look like he was a victim of gun violence,” commented pro-gun activist Nick Bolovinos of Connecticut, “unless his irrational fear of seeing someone with a gun made him pee his jorts. LOL.”
“A victim of gun violence?” asked pro-gunner Mark McDaniel of San Diego, California. “Too bad they couldn’t finish the job!” An interesting comment for someone who titled his Facebook profile page “mark4christ.”
Then there was pro-gun activist David J. Michael, Jr., who saw an opportunity to bash gays. “Gay pride parade ?” he commented. Michael also recently noted on his Facebook profile page that he’d like to play “cowboys and negroes” with those protesting the Not Guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
Finally, pro-gunner Richard Zoellner of Dyersburg, Tennessee appeared to inject some conspiracy theory into the mix. “Sandy Hook Elementary never happened,” he stated. “These people need to get a live and spend the money that they have been given them by Obama and Company for the cover up.”
Compassion and empathy? If you’re looking for it from folks in the pro-gun movement, you’d best look elsewhere.