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Rick Santorum: Kids Shouldn’t Push For ‘Phony Gun Laws,’ But ‘Do Something’ (VIDEO/TWEET)

Rick Santorum thinks kids are wasting their time trying to change our gun laws.

In the month since a grisly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we’ve learned that a certain element of the right seems to think that the survivors have no right to speak up for their right to come home from school alive. That may sound harsh, but consider what some right-wing pundits have said.

Some have called the kids “crisis actors” who are faking their grief. Others think they’re being played by libruls and radical socialists out to take our guns. Still others believe they shouldn’t be protesting if they didn’t bother to reach out to the gunman, Nikolas Cruz. Still others think that they should save their protests for after school hours. Still others think the kids shouldn’t say anything at all, since they aren’t really citizens.

The latest entry in this tone-deaf cycle came on Sunday morning from former Senator and current CNN contributor Rick Santorum. He suggested that the Stoneman Douglas kids shouldn’t be protesting at all, but learn how to save their friends in the event of the next mass shooting.

On this week’s edition of CNN’s “State of the Union,” Pennsylvania’s former junior Senator wagged his finger at the kids who organized the massive March for Our Lives in Washington on Saturday, as well as the sister marches that took place around the country. He actually thought they weren’t actually doing anything productive. Watch here.

During the show’s weekly panel discussion, Santorum told host Brianna Keilar that there were “other topics for discussion” that were being left out of the revived debate over our gun laws. Later, he suggested what one of those topics ought to be.

“How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes, or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that?”

Santorum thought that rather than push for changes to our laws, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, David and Rachel Hogg, Sarah Chadwick, Delaney Tarr, and their friends should have looked to themselves.

“They took action to ask someone to pass a law. They didn’t take action to say, ‘How do I, as an individual, deal with this problem? How am I going to do something about stopping bullying within my own community? What am I going to do to actually help respond to a shooter?'”

Okay, Mr. Man-on-Dog. Let’s say it nice and slow. These kids actually are trying to “deal with this problem”–by doing what they can to make sure there isn’t a next time for a mass shooting at their school or anywhere else. They’re doing what they can to make sure no one even needs to perform first aid on a mass shooting victim. Do you seriously think that making it harder for guns to fall into the wrong hands won’t “deal with the problem?”

Fellow panelist Van Jones pushed back. Jones’ son is going to be a high school freshman this year, and he wants him to think about “algebra and other stuff,” not about surviving the next mass shooting. Speaking for a number of parents, Jones claimed that if learning CPR in order to save his friends is anywhere near the top of his son’s high school priorities, “we’ve gone too far.”

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Santorum was unmoved. He claimed that kids ought to be “responsible,” and not rely on “phony gun laws” to fix this problem. Um, Rick? What’s phony about keeping guns out of the hands of teenagers? Or tighter background checks?

Erica Lafferty of Everytown for Gun Safety, whose mother was killed at Sandy Hook in 2012 while she was principal, rushed out with a burning statement calling Santorum’s remarks “an insult” to survivors and victims of gun violence. In an understatement, she said it was “outrageous” for Santorum to suggest kids ought to learn CPR in order to save their friends in the event of a mass shooting.

But Santorum’s “advice” isn’t just tone-deaf. It’s dangerous. Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medicine, reminded Santorum that CPR simply doesn’t work on someone who comes into the ER riddled with bullets.

Sakran knows something about gun violence. As a high school senior, he was nearly killed when a stray bullet fired at a postgame ruptured his windpipe and severed his left carotid artery.

Even after having his head handed to him by Bob Casey in 2006, Santorum has given us more and more reasons to wonder how he was a two-term Senator. Well, add more evidence to the list.

(featured image courtesy Michael Vadon, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)

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Written by Darrell Lucus

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.