Parkland Survivor Takes Stand Against Gun Control: 'The Media is Politicizing This Tragedy'


One of the students who survived the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week is speaking out against the media’s politicization of the tragedy.

High school senior Brandon Minoff told Fox News that he was disappointed in the media’s focus on gun control advocates instead of talking more about the 17 people who died in the slaughter.

“I wholeheartedly believe that the media is politicizing this tragedy,” he said. “It seems that gun control laws is the major topic of conversation rather than focusing on the bigger issue of 17 innocent lives being taken at the hands of another human.”

According to Minoff, there are students on both ends of the gun control debate at his school. One hundred students were expected to march in front of Florida’s state capital on Wednesday to demand stricter gun laws.

Despite the media’s coverage, not every student feels the same way about gun rights.

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“I know many people who are pro-gun and others who support gun control but it seems that the media is specifically targeting those in support of gun control to make it seem as if they are the majority, and the liberal news outlets are the ones that seem to make the bigger effort to speak to these people, and I’m talking from experience,” Minoff said.

The 18-year-old reportedly had a class with shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz during his sophomore year, and was luckily outside when the gunfire started.

“After getting home Wednesday night, three hours after the shooting took place, sitting on the couch and putting on the news, it pained me to hear conversations of gun control laws as I had just luckily escaped one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history,” Minoff said.

He also appeared on MSNBC and said that if lawmakers ban guns, there will be a higher demand for the weapon. Minoff added that mental health is the main issue at hand, but most news outlets are ignoring Cruz’s mental health history.

Do you think the mainstream media is politicizing the tragedy?

“And all day Thursday, CNN was interviewing gun experts and specialists to brainwash the audience that gun control is a necessity,” he said. “They even have an army of my classmates trying to persuade other students that guns are unnecessary and should be illegal.”

Minoff told Fox News that though he supports his classmates’ First Amendment rights, some of them may be uninformed about guns and gun laws.

The senior wants to meet with President Donald Trump to talk about possible changes to ensure tragedies like the one at his school do not happen again.

“I would also talk about the importance of arming security guards and other trained individuals in schools,” he said. “The only armed person in the school, the SRO, was reportedly nowhere to be found during the time of the attack and it shows in the fact that Cruz managed to vacate the school unscathed.”

He added, “At the same time, (security guard and) Coach Aaron Feis had a face-to-face altercation with Cruz and was unable to do anything but use his body to shield others. The definition of security is ‘state of being free from danger or threat,’ but there is no freedom from danger or threat when security guards are unarmed.”

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Gun control and safety have become a central discussion in the aftermath of Wednesday’s school shooting that left 17 dead and 15 more injured.

Among those voices is Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who gave a few opinions of his own regarding how school’s might better prepare for such tragic situations.

In what he suggested would be a “game changer,” Judd stated that schools should allow certain “hand-picked” teachers to carry firearms within the confines of school property.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith