Graffiti depicting President Donald Trump shooting a handgun at schoolchildren who are seen lying in pools of blood stunned residents of Florence, Alabama a few days ago.
During his campaign, after making a number of controversial remarks, Trump said his supporters would not abandon him if he “shot someone on Fifth Avenue” and he has resisted gun control measures even after children called for more assertive safety in the wake of numerous school shootings.
The display included #NeverAgain, the slogan of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida, where 17 people were killed and 17 others were wounded by a deranged gunman on Feb. 14, in one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.
Florence city leaders were shocked by the display, but initially said they could not do anything because it was on private property. After receiving permission, the city painted over the illustration.
The owners of a coffee shop across the street from where the display was painted, Sarah Shirey, told WHNT-TV she was disturbed by what she saw.
“My husband and I were looking at it, trying to figure it out, and then we realized all of the red coming out of the bodies was blood,” Shirey told the station. “And then I was assuming it was a school shooting.”
“They are obviously trying to send a message about what they believe, and I guess people have that freedom here, but that is a private piece of property and so they can’t really do it there. Which we really don’t appreciate it there,” Shirey said.
“The wonderful thing about the First Amendment, people are allowed to express their thoughts and feelings,” said the television station’s report on the incident. “However, someone has shocked an entire city after they put their latest graffiti creation in downtown Florence.”
Police Chief Ron Tyler said the display was alarming to occupants of hundreds of cars passing by each hour.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organized a nationwide protest against congressional inaction on firearms legislation that includes gaping loopholes in background checks provisions and a lack of prohibitions against buying weapons for suspected terrorists and domestic abusers.
Those protests culminated in the March For Our Lives rallies on March 24, after which Fox News host Laura Ingraham insulted Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg over his University of California rejections — which prompted the conservative to lose most of her show’s advertisers.
Hogg, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and a co-founder of the March for Our Lives movement, tweeted that he would only accept Ingraham’s apology if she denounced the way Fox News has treated him and his friends. “It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children,” Hogg wrote.
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