"She likes to provoke people and I guess she provoked me a little bit," says survivor Carly Novell.
Tomi Lahren was put on blast on CNN Thursday night, after she tweeted that now is not the time to talk about gun control after the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.
"I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours. It was about guns. You weren't there, you don't know how it felt. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings. This IS about guns and this is about all the people who had their life abruptly ended because of guns," Novell tweeted after Lahren said the shooting "isn't about a gun it's about another lunatic."
Lemon feigned ignorance over Lahren's name on his show Thursday evening, asking Novell why she decided to respond to the controversial figure. "You responded to a conservative pundit … is it Tomi Lahren? Tom Lahren on Twitter," he said. "That was a very brave message, why did you even decide to respond?"
"I don't know, I had just woken up and I think I just was really upset and needed to say something. I think it’s different when you hear it from someone who was there," said Novell. "I hope it impacted people more just because it was so heartbreaking to hear what was happening from people on the outside and we didn't know what was going on. While we were in there, we were all still talking about gun control and how something needs to change. We were in a closet and we were still thinking about this. It matters all the time. There's no waiting period, it's happening at every period during this time because this is what needs to change."
"I read things like that and I often ignore them, but I think if anyone has a right to respond, it's you Carly," said Lemon, before railing against Lahren. "I just think like the gall and nerve of someone to respond like that and, despite the ignorance, why would she even write something like that? Why would people go to social media for negativity instead of positivity?"
"I think that woman in general, she likes to provoke people and I guess she provoked me a little bit but I just had to say something," Novell replied. "I think a lot of people now are spreading positivity. There's people in my messages saying I inspired them. It didn't feel like something that was inspiring, its just something that happened to me and it's happening to everyone."
"The worst comes out and you see who the real opportunists are when people do that," added Lemon. "Obviously, it was to promote her career, her Twitter, social media, whatever, so she decided to say something that was controversial without thinking something stupid."
At the time this story published Novell's tweet has generated over 760k likes and 301k retweets.
For her part, Lahren doesn't seem too worried about the backlash. Last night he tweeted, "Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right," and posted a blog today saying people like the shooter need to be monitored "more closely."
She added: "You want a solution? Truth is, MAYBE there isn't one. Evil will always be in this world. And evil people will always find evil ways to do evil things. The solution isn't to start stripping away rights."