Parkland student protesters become right-wing targets

In the wake of Saturday's massive rallies calling for new gun legislation, the student survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have themselves become political targets.

Republican State Rep. Mary Franson of Minnesota spent Saturday evening posting a series of messages to Facebook comparing the Stoneman Douglas students leading the Never Again movement to the Hitler Youth. Franson later deleted her account, but the City Pages Minneapolis captured screenshots of the images, which included a quote from Adolf Hitler discussing the Hitler Youth movement. Franson did not respond to a request for comment.

Franson was joined in her Hitler Youth comparison by the far-right conspiracy site InfoWars, which has repeatedly compared Saturday's March for Our Lives to a Nazi movement. In a video posted to their verified YouTube page (which has been removed), InfoWars overlaid the audio of a Hitler speech and the crowd from a Nazi rally with footage of Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg's speech on Saturday. The site — which has interviewed President Trump and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. in the past — has also posted videos with the titles "Democrats Use Nazi Style Propaganda to Brainwash" and "Cult Minions March Against Guns in Austin Texas" over the last few days. The site also promoted the conspiracy theory that there were multiple gunmen during the Parkland shooting.

A Republican candidate for the state legislature in Maine dropped out of her race earlier this month after calling Hogg a "moron" and "baldfaced liar" and fellow Stoneman Douglas student and activist Emma Gonzalez a "skinhead lesbian."

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Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez
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Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez
Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sits for a portrait after calling for more gun control at a rally three days after the shooting at her school, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez wipes away tears during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Emma Gonzalez hugs her father Jose Gonzalez as they join other people after a school shooting that killed 17 to protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse on February 17, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this week former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire with a AR-15 rifle at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, gathers with people at North Community Park in Parkland, Fla. for a protest on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. Gonzalez is one of many survivors of a mass shooting that took place at the school on Feb. 14, that left 17 people dead. (John McCall/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez reacts during her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A student survivor of the Parkland school shooting called out US President Donald Trump on Saturday over his ties to the powerful National Rifle Association, in a poignant address to an anti-gun rally in Florida. 'To every politician taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!' said Emma Gonzalez, assailing Trump over the multi-million-dollar support his campaign received from the gun lobby -- and prompting the crowd to chant in turn: 'Shame on you!' / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez is hugged by a friend following her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez comforts a classmate during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, speaks to the media after calling for more gun control at a rally three days after the shooting at her school, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. Seventeen perished and more than a dozen were wounded in the hail of bullets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,Florida the latest mass shooting to devastate a small US community and renew calls for gun control. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez is hugged by a friend following her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Emma Gonzalez (L), a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and others walk to campus on February 25, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Today, students and parents were allowed on campus for the first time since the shooting that killed 17 people on February 14. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for the 17 murders. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, gathers with people at North Community Park in Parkland, Fla. for a protest on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. Gonzalez is one of many survivors of a mass shooting that took place at the school on Feb. 14, that left 17 people dead. (John McCall/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
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On Monday, the right-wing blog Red State promoted a story that Hogg was not at Stoneman Douglas during the shooting only to follow up with a correction of that assertion that blamed a "confusing" CBS News video. Hogg was in the school during the shooting — including interviewing his classmates while they hid from the gunman —and returned later that day to talk to more of his classmates at the scene.

Even before Saturday's rallies the Stoneman Douglas students have been attacked by right-wing media since the Feb. 14 shooting. A number of outlets accused them of being "crisis actors," paid performers who were never actually in danger. It's a similar tactic that repeats itself after most mass shootings, with InfoWars host Alex Jones' claim that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was "completely fake" among the most notorious lies.

Over this past weekend doctored images of Gonzalez went viral, and a video of her tearing a gun target was photoshopped to make it look like she was tearing the constitution was shared across social media. She was also targeted by the campaign of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for wearing the patch of a Cuban flag on her jacket. Gonzalez is part-Cuban and was defended by GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban native who represents south Florida.

The reaction to the March also included CNN contributor and former Republican Senator Rick Santorum suggesting the teenagers would be better off learning CPR than marching, an idea that was rebutted by a multitude of medical professionals who pointed out that CPR doesn't help with the treatment of gunshot wounds. The conservative magazine National Review added their own stories to the mix, with one piece referring to the rally organizers as "Teenage Demagogues" and another questioning if Hogg was an "Oracle, or Useful Idiot?"

30 PHOTOS
Notable signs from the March For Our Lives rally
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Notable signs from the March For Our Lives rally
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 24: A large group of Americans and French hold a March for Our Lives anti-NRA anti-gun rally on Place de Trocadero, facing the Eiffel Tower, on March 24, 2018 in Paris, France. More than 800 March for Our Lives events, organized by survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting on February 14 that left 17 dead, are taking place around the world to call for legislative action to address school safety and gun violence. (Photo by Owen Franken - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Possible contender for my fave sign of the day from Erica. She made it at 1am last night, she said laughing!… https://t.co/fPogWRYRZL
Best signs at #marchforourlivesSTL #marchforourlives #enough #endgunviolencenow https://t.co/w7oaK5QJEw
I love this sign and I wonder if it would trigger @DLoesch. #MarchForOurLives https://t.co/QDU4rVDGk6
This sign deserves a pulitzer #marchforourlives (📸 @claremarienyc) https://t.co/9qHcEjbhq6
Enough said. #VetsVsTheNRA #MarchForOurLives https://t.co/9lLTgGrNbd
#SashayAway https://t.co/tGnrCnEqCK
I walked up as she was explaining the reference to an older gentleman https://t.co/KPyxmFsCAE
I’m at #MarchForOurLives In Boston and this is the best sign I’ve seen so far https://t.co/KhI9fPsORr
More signs here at #MarchForOurLives in D.C. https://t.co/TLxPr2vmbN
Listen to the youth. #MarchForOurLives https://t.co/jprvl6iTD3
💕she’s 4! #marchforourlives https://t.co/4TddUG5xXO
A woman just walked up to this young girl and asked about her sign. “There was a shooting at my high school this we… https://t.co/likqtFRQfx
A protest sign during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018. Galvanized by a massacre at a Florida high school, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to take to the streets in cities across the United States on Saturday in the biggest protest for gun control in a generation. / AFP PHOTO / Alex Edelman (Photo credit should read ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: A demonstrator holds a sign at the start of the March for Our Lives rally March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, including students, teachers, and parents are expected to gather for the anti-gun violence rally, spurred largely by the shooting that took place on Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 people died. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A woman hoists a poster featuring Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the February 2018 Florida high school shooting turned activist and advocate for gun control, at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018. Galvanized by a massacre at the Florida high school, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in cities across the United States on Saturday in the biggest protest for gun control in a generation. / AFP PHOTO / Eva HAMBACH (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
PARKLAND, FL - MARCH 24: People hold signs as they participate in the March For Our Lives event at Pine Trails Park before walking to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on March 24, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The event was one of many scheduled around the United States calling for gun control after a gunman killed 17 people on February 14 at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Participants hold up signs as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: A demonstrator is seen in the Mall near the student-led March for Our Lives rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to call for action to prevent gun violence on March 24, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 24: A protester holds up a sign disparaging the NRA at the March for Our Lives rally on March 24, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. More than 800 March for Our Lives events, organized by survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting on February 14 that left 17 dead, are taking place around the world to call for legislative action to address school safety and gun violence. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 24: A demonstrator display her sign during the March For Our Lives Rally on March 24, 2018, at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Protestors hold signs during a "March For Our Lives" demonstration demanding gun control in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
People walk with signs against the NRA during "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
DENVER, CO - MARCH 24: Kristin Miller (C), of Littleton, Colorado holds up a sign as thousands of people participate in the March for Our Lives rally on March 24, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. More than 800 March for Our Lives events, organized by survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting on February 14 that left 17 dead, are taking place around the world to call for legislative action to address school safety and gun violence. (Photo by Ross Taylor/Getty Images)
MORRISTOWN, NJ - MARCH 24: A demonstrators holds up a sign 'Really?' with a the scales of justice tipped more for guns than students outside the Morristown Town Hall during the March For Our Lives in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Thousands of demonstrators, including students, teachers and parents gathered in Morristown, NJ for the antigun violence rally after the events in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which killed 17 people. More than 800 related events are taking place around the world to call for legislative action to address school safety and gun violence. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold signs while gathering on 6th Avenue during the March For Our Lives in New York, U.S., on March 24, 2018. Thousands of high school students and other gun-control advocates gathered in Washington and across the U.S. Saturday to demand tougher firearms restrictions from an older generation that's delivered little change after years of mass shootings. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A demonstrator holds a sign that reads 'Hey, Hey, NRA! How Many Kids Have You Killed Today,' while gathering on 6th Avenue during the March For Our Lives in New York, U.S., on March 24, 2018. Thousands of high school students and other gun-control advocates gathered in Washington and across the U.S. Saturday to demand tougher firearms restrictions from an older generation that's delivered little change after years of mass shootings. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A demonstrator holds a sign while gathering on 6th Avenue during the March For Our Lives in New York, U.S., on March 24, 2018. Thousands of high school students and other gun-control advocates gathered in Washington and across the U.S. Saturday to demand tougher firearms restrictions from an older generation that's delivered little change after years of mass shootings. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators hold signs while gathering on 6th Avenue during the March For Our Lives in New York, U.S., on March 24, 2018. Thousands of high school students and other gun-control advocates gathered in Washington and across the U.S. Saturday to demand tougher firearms restrictions from an older generation that's delivered little change after years of mass shootings. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 24: A woman holds a banner reading 'Grandmas For Gun Control, Because Our Hugs Can't Protect Them From Everything' during 'March For Our Lives' protest against gun violence in the country on March 24, 2018 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Chris Williams/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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