Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, appeared to link students involved in the March for Our Lives to Hitler Youth in a series of Facebook posts last weekend, but she said Tuesday that was not her intent.
Franson said her comments about high schoolers who are pushing for gun restrictions were separate from another message she shared from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum about “Indoctrinating Youth.”
The representative’s Facebook page was unavailable Tuesday, but the Douglas County DFL posted screen captures of her comments. City Pages first reported Franson’s comments. Her Facebook page was back online Wednesday.
First, she shared another person’s Facebook post referring to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, who is advocating for gun reforms, as “Supreme Leader Hogg.”
Soon after that, she reposted a comment from Ryan Saavedra with the conservative opinion website The Daily Wire. Saavedra had said, “Parkland student says at the #MarchForOurLives rally: ‘When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile!’ This is why you do NOT give anything to left on anything.”
“And there you have it friends ... the anti gunners, the high school students who speak for all, aren’t interested in an ‘inch’. They want the mile. They want your guns. Gone,” Franson wrote above Saavedra’s comments.
Fifteen minutes later, she shared a web page labeled “Indoctrinating Youth” from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and posted an Adolf Hitler quote with it. The quote talked about the Nazi Party’s process for shaping young people’s views.
“I did not intend for one Facebook post about those who are pushing for gun control to be connected to another, separate post I shared from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum about ‘Indoctrinating Youth’. I’ve deleted the post to clear up any confusion,” Franson said in an e-mail Tuesday.
But Douglas County DFL Chairman Jon Koll said he was not surprised to see the series of posts, and he noted a situation last year when Franson declined requests to meet with the Alexandria Area High School Democratic Club. After pressure mounted she met with the students, but was “blatantly rude” and “condescending,” he said.
Previous comments in public or on social media have also landed Franson in the news during her four terms in the Legislature. In 2014, she likened an antibullying bill to fascism.
This story has been updated to note Franson's Facebook page was back online Wednesday.