The Survivors

 

Every time you read something about the kids of Stoneman Douglas High School and their anti-gun efforts, the word “survivor” is attached. It is, of course, a conscious choice on the part of the media and the rest of the far left to confer to these children a moral authority that they would not otherwise have. But are all of them really “survivors?”

There were 17 fatalities that day and the indictment filed against the killer also lists 17 charges of attempted murder — and it specifies that each of these 34 individuals was shot. Some of these kids were just grazed and were home from the hospital by nightfall. Others needed multiple surgeries and are still in recovery. But the ones who are walking around protesting, such as media darlings David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, are they truly “survivors?”

Interestingly, when former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis passed in 1994 her New York Times obituary did not refer to her as a survivor. Nor did they use that term when former Texas Governor John Connally — who took a bullet in the back — when he passed the year before. But by 2003, the Times was trumpeting Nellie Connally, the Governor’s widow, as “a survivor” of the JFK assassination. (Headline from an anniversary story: “40 Years After Shots in Dallas, A Survivor’s Painful Memories.”)

The press has no problem puncturing (or trying to puncture) the military résumés of politicians, particularly if they’re Republicans. Joni Ernst was taken to task when she described herself as a “combat veteran” in her run for the Senate. Andrew Reinbach, writing in The Huffington Post on Feb. 6, 2015, said:

Real combat veterans I spoke to don’t think much of how the Senator talks up her combat duty. Larry Hanft, for instance, who earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge fighting in Vietnam, says, “By her definition, everybody who stepped off the plane in Kuwait is a combat veteran. Joni Ernst is using her military experience to gain a political edge and pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. She’s a fraud…” Mr. Hanft is one of Sen. Ernst’s constituents.

When Rep. Mike Coffman (R–CO) mixed it up with Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald in that same year, his credentials as a “combat veteran” were also questioned. Coffman, who did two Middle East tours and earned the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon in the first one, was criticized for mixing it up with McDonald who is a West Point grad. The Washington Post ended up doing one of their infamous “fact checks” on whether the congressman was engaging in “stolen valor.”

And the Corps does make the distinction.

So, while we want to parse the bravery of our military, we’re conferring a higher status on anyone within or near the building during the Parkland shooting whether they were in actual danger or not. By that measure, even the Cowards of Broward, the Deputy Sheriffs, might be considered “survivors.”

If you walk away from an airplane crash, or you’re injured and medical intervention keeps you alive, or you’re lost at sea or in the woods and get out, those kinds of things make you a survivor, not the political wishes of others.

There are 21 comments.

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  1. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    EJ,

    I’ve mentioned this a couple times already but I’ll mention it again. First, I don’t like wasting time with elaborate conspiracy theories that prove nothing in the end. However, every hair on the back of my neck stands up when I look at the events at Parkland. Organized demonstrations on that scale don’t just happen they are planned well in advance. Who did the planning? Hogg and Gonzalez looked very much like they had been practicing their parts in this preconceived drama for quite some time. Everyone at Broward knew about Cruz for a couple months. I know you will find this too much to take but I literally believe these creatures with Scott Israel’s active collusion were waiting for Cruz to blow up and kill so they could go into their act.

    The CNN town hall and the mass demonstrations had the feel of pre-planning. I hope Israel is discredited completely because then the whole thing will unravel. Even Tapper after playing along with the con during the town hall couldn’t take what an idiot Scott Israel was and was distancing himself two days later.

    Not only shouldn’t they get a medal but maybe they should get a swift kick in the…

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    The OP makes a good point. Every day I survive….something. The real issue is (a) was there a credible lethal threat to me, (b) was I aware of that threat, and (c) is it reasonable in light of (a) and (b) for anyone to be concerned about how I am dealing with that event. People described in (a), (b) and (c) are clearly survivors. 

    And, of course, being a survivor may or may not confer wisdom on someone or make them expert on anything other than how they themselves processed the experience. All dramatic events in our lives have an impact on how we understand and deal with the world. The ones most profoundly affected rarely volunteer to lead a cause.

    • #2
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I can’t agree here.  Splitting hairs on the definition of survivor in this case will get us nowhere.  The kids survived a school shooting, just as people who ran away in Las Vegas survived that shooting and just as people who got out of the Towers before they collapsed survived 9/11.  These events DO NOT make them experts on policy and the fact that some are seeking to exploit their status is deplorable if predictable.  But I cannot in any way diminish the special terror anyone who has been in these mass casualty situations must have felt.  So I don’t begrudge them the epithet “survivor”.  

    • #3
  4. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    NPR uses the term “survivor” to describe women who have experienced sexual harassment.  Not assault, mind you, harassment.   Gives me a full laugh every time.

    Then again, we’re all survivors.  In a world where victimhood is the path to recognition and authority, it can’t be any other way.  Heck, you can even achieve survivor status by proxy. “I am Treyvon Martin.”

    Don’t fight it.  Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    • #4
  5. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    NPR uses the term “survivor” to describe women who have experienced sexual harassment. Not assault, mind you, harassment. Gives me a full laugh every time.

     

    I use the term “survivor” to describe people who listen to NPR regularly.

    • #5
  6. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    NPR uses the term “survivor” to describe women who have experienced sexual harassment. Not assault, mind you, harassment. Gives me a full laugh every time.

    Then again, we’re all survivors. In a world where victimhood is the path to recognition and authority, it can’t be any other way. Heck, you can even achieve survivor status by proxy. “I am Treyvon Martin.”

    Don’t fight it. Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    Chuck,

    I do believe you have defined the whole science of victimhood that is now the entire agenda of the left and entire platform of the Democratic Party.

    Well done.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
  7. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    I’m a survivor of Chernobyl and Apollo 13.

    • #7
  8. Chris Member
    Chris
    @Chris

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I can’t agree here. Splitting hairs on the definition of survivor in this case will get us nowhere. The kids survived a school shooting, just as people who ran away in Las Vegas survived that shooting and just as people who got out of the Towers before they collapsed survived 9/11. These events DO NOT make them experts on policy and the fact that some are seeking to exploit their status is deplorable if predictable. But I cannot in any way diminish the special terror anyone who has been in these mass casualty situations must have felt. So I don’t begrudge them the epithet “survivor”.

     

    In my youth, I became friendly with a gentleman who had been an MP in Vietnam.  In a field on a walkabout he told us a little about his experiences.  I asked him how close he had ever gotten to the enemy, and he indicated a treeline perhaps 100-200 yards away (I am terrible at estimating distances).  Having been steeped in movies and tv, I commented something to the effect of “not that close as compared to what you see in the movies”.  

    He was very gracious, but pointed out that when that treeline has people with AK-47s trying to kill you, it is close enough.  And that he thought Napalm was a great invention.

    These kids at Parkland were close enough and avoided coming face to face with the shooter by the grace of God.  In this biased media environment, not getting caught up in “who’s the real victim” arguments to focus on the real, universal, issues should be the priority. 

     

    • #8
  9. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Chris (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I can’t agree here. Splitting hairs on the definition of survivor in this case will get us nowhere. The kids survived a school shooting, just as people who ran away in Las Vegas survived that shooting and just as people who got out of the Towers before they collapsed survived 9/11. These events DO NOT make them experts on policy and the fact that some are seeking to exploit their status is deplorable if predictable. But I cannot in any way diminish the special terror anyone who has been in these mass casualty situations must have felt. So I don’t begrudge them the epithet “survivor”.

     

    …    These kids at Parkland were close enough and avoided coming face to face with the shooter by the grace of God. In this biased media environment, not getting caught up in “who’s the real victim” arguments to focus on the real, universal, issues should be the priority.

     

    I think we are talking about people like David Hogg, who calls himself a survivor of Parkland even though he wasn’t at school that day. That’s who I’m talking about anyway.

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    The commentary on this thread has caused me to go back and relook at my earlier post. “Survivor” can be used in many different contexts. For example a family member is listed as a “survivor” in the obituary of a loved one. 

    The OP focused specifically on the designation in the media for certain outspoken individuals. The assumed intent was to give greater emphasis to these individual’s post-attack words and deeds as a result of their status as a “survivor”. I do not want to diminish the deep feelings that someone may have as a result of either being under threat, or although not under threat still affected by the loss of a child, a fellow student, or a colleague. 

    But neither do I want to confer shaman-like status on someone simply as a result of their surviving a traumatic event. This is particularly so with children and teens. It is unseemly regardless of the agenda of which it is in service.

    • #10
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Rodin (View Comment):
    But neither do I want to confer shaman-like status on someone simply as a result of their surviving a traumatic event. This is particularly so with children and teens. It is unseemly regardless of the agenda of which it is in service.

    That I agree with.  But I still think attacking students like David Hogg-and it does appear that he was at school that day-is a losing proposition.

    • #11
  12. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    But neither do I want to confer shaman-like status on someone simply as a result of their surviving a traumatic event. This is particularly so with children and teens. It is unseemly regardless of the agenda of which it is in service.

    That I agree with. But I still think attacking students like David Hogg-and it does appear that he was at school that day-is a losing proposition.

    David Hogg’s own words: On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike, and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school. To get as much video and get as many interviews, as I could.

    Here he is on YouTube saying that:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY0W4ptd1Pw

    • #12
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    That was a muck up at CBS. He was at school that day and was describing what he did after students were released and he got back home.

    CBS has since issued a clarification. However… 

    My point is that if you knew someone that died in a car crash – even if you witnessed it – that does not necessarily make you a “survivor” of that crash if you weren’t in the car. And the JFK assassination example was provided as an example of the evolution, or rather the devolution, of how we look at these things. I mean, Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally were sitting right night to their husbands when they were shot and no one even thought to label them “survivors of a shooting” for over forty years. Perhaps that generation which marched through the Pacific and took Europe back from Hitler had a slightly different viewpoint of what it meant to be shot at.

    • #13
  14. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    EJHill (View Comment):

    That was a muck up at CBS. He was at school that day and was describing what he did after students were released and he got back home.

    CBS has since issued a clarification. However…

    My point is that if you knew someone that died in a car crash – even if you witnessed it – that does not necessarily make you a “survivor” of that crash if you weren’t in the car. And the JFK assassination example was provided as an example of the evolution, or rather the devolution, of how we look at these things. I mean, Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally were sitting right night to their husbands when they were shot and no one even thought to label them “survivors of a shooting” for over forty years. Perhaps that generation which marched through the Pacific and took Europe back from Hitler had a slightly different viewpoint of what it meant to be shot at.

    We seem to be turning into a country of weaklings who want to be celebrated for being victims.

     

    • #14
  15. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Don’t fight it. Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    But I am a white guy.  If I get wronged by another white guy, do I still get to embrace my survivorness?

    • #15
  16. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Don’t fight it. Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    But I am a white guy. If I get wronged by another white guy, do I still get to embrace my survivorness?

    It’s worth a shot.  If somebody says you can’t, perhaps they’ll be rude and inarticulate about it and you can survive that too.  Oh, the horrors we endure.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Don’t fight it. Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    But I am a white guy. If I get wronged by another white guy, do I still get to embrace my survivorness?

    Hit them with a random gender — preferably one nobody has ever heard of. If that starts to go south, throw up a minor mental disability as a smoke screen and escape in the confusion.

    • #17
  18. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Don’t fight it. Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    But I am a white guy. If I get wronged by another white guy, do I still get to embrace my survivorness?

    It’s worth a shot. If somebody says you can’t, perhaps they’ll be rude and inarticulate about it and you can survive that too. Oh, the horrors we endure.

    Unfortunately, I can’t remember getting wronged.  White privilege, I guess.

    • #18
  19. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    “survived” and “survivor” are a weird words. I remember when I was a kid and reading a newspaper article about my brother’s death and seeing my own name listed as “… survived by …”.

    I thought at the time that the writer made a mistake; that he thought I was somehow involved in the accident.

    As an adult, (and recently finding  and re-reading that article) I realize the phrase “survived by” meant simply loved ones still living.

    I was never a “survivor” of my brother’s accident, but I was “survived” by him.

    Like I said. Weird words.

    And easily exploited.

     

    • #19
  20. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Percival (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    Don’t fight it. Figure out how some white guy wronged you and embrace your survivorness.

    But I am a white guy. If I get wronged by another white guy, do I still get to embrace my survivorness?

    Hit them with a random gender — preferably one nobody has ever heard of. If that starts to go south, throw up a minor mental disability as a smoke screen and escape in the confusion.

    The downside of “white privilege” is that if you don’t get the job or can’t get into the club, there’s nobody else to blame.

    • #20
  21. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    The downside of “white privilege” is that if you don’t get the job or can’t get into the club, there’s nobody else to blame.

    That’s what parents are for.

    • #21

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