Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe appeared to suggest in a Facebook post Wednesday that Florida students who descended upon their state capital in support of stricter gun laws might not actually be students.
Metcalfe, who made headlines previously for a homophobic rant directed at a colleague who touched his arm, joined the ranks of conservatives who have openly questioned the motives and origins of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students.
“I enlisted in the U.S. Army at 17 years old,” Metcalfe wrote Wednesday. “This morning I was working out and listening to the news about ‘students’ being bussed in to the Florida Capitol. The hypocrisy of the left struck me! They expect lawmakers to listen to the policy advice of 18 year old and younger ‘students’ who are advocating for gun control, but they do not believe 18 year olds who are old enough to serve on the battlefields of Afghanistan are old enough to purchase a rifle.”
Neither Metcalfe nor his office have offered comments on the post, but as of Thursday morning it is still active on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, where many social media users are responding with disdain:
“What are you saying about these kids who were lucky enough to walk through blood and past corpses of friends slaughtered by an AR15? Please remove the quotation marks and be specific,” one commenter wrote.
“Anyone begrudging or mocking (which is what you are doing) these young people and their right to protest and be heard after going through such a horrific experience doesn’t understand what being an American is all about,” another one wrote.
“Every time you step up to prove that you’re even more of an ignorant monster, you hit it right out of the park,” Sims, a Democrat, wrote in reply to Metcalfe’s post. “Attacking the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for taking their advocacy to a state Capitol is one of the most twisted, ghoulish things that you’ve done in a career marked by intense bigotry, discrimination, and divisiveness.”