- The Washington Times - Friday, March 2, 2018

Not only have major left-wing activist groups partnered with Parkland students to push for gun control, but the Democratic National Committee has enlisted at least one shooting survivor to campaign on its behalf.

The DNC issued a get-out-the-vote email Friday signed by Sara Imam, who wrote a first-person plea urging people to join the Democratic Party’s #IWillVote campaign in order to commit to “ending gun violence.”

“I turned 18 the day after the shooting, and I immediately registered to vote. But many of my fellow survivors can’t vote yet, and we are counting on you to stand up for young people at the ballot box,” said Ms. Imam.

The plea links to a DNC sign-up for campaign emails and texts with the message, “When more people vote, Democrats win. It’s that simple.”

A slew of progressive advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood, Everytown for Gun Safety and the American Federation of Teachers, are helping organize the “student-led” March for Our Lives movement, “which is quickly evolving from a student-run social media effort to end gun violence into one backed by some of the most influential activists in the country,” BuzzFeed reported.

Also involved is Rep. Debra Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, who represents the Broward County area and previously chaired the DNC.

Women’s March LA co-executive director Deena Katz submitted the application for the March 24 protest in Washington, D.C., one of dozens of March for Our Lives events scheduled nationwide and abroad, as the Washington Times reported Feb. 21.

Conservatives have criticized Democrats and gun-control advocates for politicizing the tragedy, while progressives have blasted the right for calling for “thoughts and prayers” without taking action in the form of legislation to restrict firearms access.

News outlets have also been rebuked for characterizing the movement as organized by a small band of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, without mentioning involvement of activist groups.

“Why did it take two weeks to discover Parkland students’ astroturfing?” asked the Federalist in a Thursday post.

“For two weeks, journalists treated power as if it were magical. It’s not. It’s mechanical,” said the Federalist’s David Hines. “The people organizing the response to Parkland, and a host of other causes, know that. So should you.”

Ms. Imam emphasized the role of students in calling for gun-control legislation in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 shooting, which left 17 dead.

“Students like me are protesting, marching, and speaking out for our right to live free from the fear of gun violence,” Ms. Imam said in the DNC email. “We are talking to our elected officials and debating the president himself to demand new gun laws that will keep us safe.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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