On Friday night, over 300 people were injured or killed in several citywide terrorist attacks in Paris. As a result, French President François Hollande declared a state of emergency and closed the country’s borders for the first time since 1944.
France 24 televised coverage of the massacre and aftermath, but would break occasionally to show the huge outpouring of solidarity in response to the attacks. Countries, politicians, celebrities, and citizens around the globe are doing their best to share a message of hope and strength, however not all have been so empathetic.
American conservative politicians are being heavily criticized for using the terrorist attacks to push their political agenda on Twitter. France 24 condemned the insensitivity of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich after he tweeted this following the Paris attacks:
Imagine a theater with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits. We live in an age when evil men have to be killed by good people
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) November 13, 2015
France 24’s Mark Owen responded to Gingrich’s tweet live on air:
“So he’s using this atrocity to make his point that people should be able to carry guns basically. It’s funny how people will very distastefully use this kind of situation to express their own particular political views. Newt Gingrich, shame on you.”
Following this, an old tweet of Donald Trump’s, which utilizes the Charlie Hebdo attack to push his own stance on gun control, began to recirculate. This tweet angered the French Ambassador to the U.S., Gerard Araud, who called him a “vulture.”
— Thinker (@SmellTheTea) November 14, 2015
After the backlash to Gingrich’s tweet and the older Trump tweet, it seems logical that others would take a step back and allow France the space to mourn. However, conservative pundits and celebrities decided to do the opposite, flooding social media with even more inflammatory remarks utilizing the attacks to argue their political ideology.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 13, 2015
How's that Syrian refugee resettlement look now? How about that mass migration into Europe? Terrorism is alive & well in the world. #No
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) November 14, 2015
France has been a powder keg for years thanks to lax immigration policies & political correctness toward radical Islam. Take note, US.
— Andrea Tantaros (@AndreaTantaros) November 13, 2015
Oh, NOW France closes its borders. #Hollande
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) November 13, 2015
While the world strives to make sense of the tragedy, many consider the political and punditry wing’s attempt to shift the focus of this tragedy to their own political agenda disrespectful to the dead and the survivors.
Featured image: Mark Owen (France 24) via screen grab