Republican (but anti-Trump) talking head Ana Navarro just shared a photograph on Twitter with her cousin MJ Wright, the mother of a man who was tragically killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando almost two years ago.
“This is my cousin, MJ Wright,” Navarro shared. “Her son, Jerry, was killed by a mass shooter at Pulse Nightclub. She’s now a warrior to strengthen laws/enforcement so others don’t have to endure the pain her family lives with. She’s a mom. A grandma. A wife. An American. She is not a crisis actor.”
One of the common conspiracy themes that gained traction after the Newtown shooting involved “crisis actors,” individuals who had (to that point) been primarily known to populate disaster drills. As the notion of gun grabbing conspiracies became more commonplace, the term was appropriated by folks who believed the faces of those grieving at (staged) shooting scenes or subsequent vigils were in fact paid government operatives assigned to fabricate the appearance of mourning.
This is my cousin, MJ Wright. Her son, Jerry, was killed by a mass shooter at Pulse Nightclub. She’s now a warrior to strengthen laws/enforcement so others don’t have to endure the pain her family lives with. She’s a mom. A grandma. A wife. An American. She is not a crisis actor. pic.twitter.com/jMSvxVicfp
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) February 27, 2018
This conspiracy theory has again come up after the Parkland school shooting, with many people on social media alleging that the Parkland shooting survivors who have become vocal activists for stricter gun control are also paid actors.
Many people on social media responded to Navarro’s words with love and support.
One person tweeted: “So sorry. I live close to Orlando & visited Pulse a few days afterwards to show my respects. I was a blubbering mess. How can anyone hate a whole group of people? Makes no sense! #VetsForGunReform”
Another added: “Send my love to your cousin, and please tell her that I’m so sorry for her loss. I stand committed to fight right along with her and #NeverAgain to end this gun insanity. Just when I run out of tears, it happens again. It has to stop.”
Last week, four Pulse survivors — young people from Orlando who survived that June 2016 attack — met roughly 100 Parkland shooting survivors and went to Tallahassee to convince legislators to consider changes in Florida’s gun laws.
One of the Pulse survivors offered these words of encouragement: “Y’all got this. Y’all strong. Make sure your voices are heard.”