Students Walk Out of Vigil Hijacked by Gun Control Activists, Only ABC Reports

On Wednesday night Highlands Ranch High School students and parents walked out of a vigil (meant to honor victims and heroes of the shooting) after gun control activists politicized the event.

Only ABC’s Good Morning America, on Thursday, covered the outrage over politicians (like Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Michael Bennet) hijacking the memorial.

While CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today show offered stories on the Highlands Ranch school shooting, they both ignored gun control advocacy by politicians as the reason students and parents walked out of the vigil.

One student (seen in the following May 8 report from NBC's Denver affiliate KUSA9) criticized the blatant political exploitation:

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT IN YELLOW SHIRT: What has happened at STEM is awful. But it’s not a statistic. We can’t be used as a reason for gun control. We are a people, not a statement! 

 

 

NBC correspondent Ron Mott, on Thursday's Today show, featured a soundbite from that same student (in the yellow shirt) but did not include the portion of his statement that was critical of the politicians – even though it was readily available from his own network’s Denver affiliate.  

NBC
Today
May 9, 2019

[7:12:05 am - 7:12:21 am] 

RON MOTT: Last night at an emotional vigil for a wounded community, some grieving students expressing anger, frustration, and sadness. But also honoring the bravery of Kendrick Castillo. 

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: We wanted to say really quick, we love you, Kendrick. We will remember you ever and always. 

 

 

Only ABC national correspondent Matt Gutman, on Thursday’s Good Morning America, reported on the anger from students and parents over the anti-gun rights politicians overtaking the event:   

MATT GUTMAN: Good morning, George. It was pretty shocking to see those hundreds of students and parents marching out of that gymnasium protesting what they called the politicization of their grief. They said they didn’t want to talk about gun control. They wanted to talk about the heroes who stopped that shooting. At the vigil for that school shooting’s victims the survivors rising up. Politicians like Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Michael Bennet spoke but it was the students who demanded to be heard. Stalking out of the gymnasium. They demanded that the vigil instead focus on the shooting’s victims including 18 year-old Kendrick Castillo.”

 

 

The following are the relevant transcripts from the May 9 editions of ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today show:  

ABC 
Good Morning America
May 9, 2019

[7:02:41am - 7:04:11am]

ROBIN ROBERTS: But first we’ll begin with new details on that fatal school shooting in Colorado. Overnight protests erupting at a vigil for the victims as we learn more about the hero students who helped stop the gunman. Our chief national correspondent Matt Gutman is in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with the latest. Good morning, Matt. 

MATT GUTMAN: Good morning, Robin. That was one of two vigils and at that one that you just mentioned the students seemed to rebel at the political tone taken by organizers, chanting mental health. Instead they wanted the focus to be on the three students who tackled that primary shooter stripping him of his gun and, of course, one of those students paying for his courage with his life. 

[Students chanting “Mental health”]

GUTMAN: Overnight a vigil to remember the victims boiling over in anger. Frustrated students stalking out of the Highlands Ranch High School demanding to be heard. 

[Unidentified student: “Let STEM kids speak!”] 

GUTMAN: The event featured politicians like presidential hopeful Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and gun control advocates speaking to a packed gymnasium but the tone shifted with students and their parents protesting politics and blaming the press. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This can be an incredibly divisive or painful awful time or it can be a time where we come together. 

GUTMAN: It spilled into the hallways. Students chanting. This anger coming as a community grapples with a tragedy. 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed after being the first person to rush the shooter. 
...
ABC
Good Morning America 
May 9, 2019

[8:02:34am - 8:03:28am]

HOST GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We have news to get to, as well. Including that school shooting in Colorado. And the hero students who helped stop the gunmen. We want to go back to our chief national correspondent Matt Gutman and that kids protest at one of the vigils overnight. 

MATT GUTMAN: Good morning, George. It was pretty shocking to see those hundreds of students and parents marching out of that gymnasium protesting what they called the politicization of their grief. They said they didn’t want to talk about gun control. They wanted to talk about the heroes who stopped that shooting. At the vigil for that school shooting’s victims the survivors rising up. Politicians like Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Michael Bennet spoke but it was the students who demanded to be heard. Stalking out of the gymnasium. 

[Student: “Let STEM kids speak!”]

GUTMAN: They demanded that the vigil instead focus on the shooting’s victims including 18 year-old Kendrick Castillo, was killed after being the first person to rush the shooter.
...

NBC
Today
May 9, 2019

[7:12:05 am - 7:12:21 am] 

RON MOTT: Last night at an emotional vigil for a wounded community, some grieving students expressing anger, frustration, and sadness. But also honoring the bravery of Kendrick Castillo. 

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: We wanted to say really quick, we love you, Kendrick. We will remember you ever and always. 
...

CBS
This Morning
May 9, 2019

[7:13:50 - 7:13:55] 

DAVID BEGNAUD: There was a memorial last night to honor the students and a lot of people who showed up were chanting “mental health, mental health.” 

NB Daily Guns ESPN ABC Good Morning America CBS Early Show NBC Today Matt Gutman George Stephanopoulos

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