'You weren't there, you don't know how it felt': Students from the Parkland high school shooting rebuke a Fox News contributor for politicized tweets amid tragedy

Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesPeople embrace as they attend a candlelight memorial service for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people on February 15, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.
  • Students from the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people hit back at a popular conservative personality who tweeted politically-charged messages on Twitter.
  • Some students drew upon their experience and called for some sort of change in gun legislation.

Students from the Parkland, Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people on Wednesday lashed out against a conservative personality who began posting politicized messages on Twitter.

On Wednesday, Tomi Lahren, a popular conservative personality and frequent Fox News contributor, appeared to suggest that shootings similar to the one in Parkland were not “about a gun,” and instead, were attributed to “another lunatic.” She then went on to accuse liberals of pushing an “anti-gun and anti-gunowner agenda.”

In a separate tweet on Thursday, Lahren conveyed a popular conservative talking point:

Shortly afterwards, people who appeared to be students from the high school began to reply to Lahren’s tweets:

“A gun has killed 17 of my fellow classmates,” one person replied on Twitter. “A gun has traumatized my friends. My entire school, traumatized from this tragedy. This could have been prevented.”

Another person accused Lahren of being the one who was offended by differing opinions:

“I lost friends yesterday at my school and your here tying to prove some of my classmates wrong since the spoke out against you,” one person said on Twitter. “Your the offended one here, it’s better to stay quiet than to come speak out like this bulls–t.

Carly Novell, a 17-year-old senior who hid inside a closet during the shooting, drew upon her experience to prove her point:

“I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours. It was about guns,” Novell said in a tweet to Lahren. “You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings. This IS about guns and this is about all the people who had their life abruptly ended because of guns.”

Novell later appeared on CNN to talk about her reply to Lahren and her experience in the aftermath of the shooting.

“I just needed to say something,” Novell said to CNN anchor Don Lemon on Thursday. “I think it’s different when you hear it from someone who was there.”

During the shooting, Novell, who was hiding in a closet, said she discussed the subject of gun control with her peers.

“While we were in there, we were all still talking about gun control and how something needs to change,” she said. “We were in a closet and we were still thinking about this. It matters all the time. There’s no waiting period.”

Novell expressed frustration at the lack of change in measures to prevent mass shootings.

“I just want people to stop talking about it, and then not doing anything,” Novell continued. “People keep saying ‘Your thoughts and prayers’ and all these things, but it doesn’t make a difference if nothing ever changes. This happens over and over again, and people are dying.”

“You can talk about what needs to change and you can also be mourning the victims,” Novell said. “It doesn’t have to be one or the other. And it shouldn’t be one or the other.”

“I don’t really know how to feel. This isn’t something that’s normal. This shouldn’t be normal.”

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