After the tragic events that transpired at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, students of both the Parkside school, as well as their peers around the nation, are rising up to advocate for increased safety by way of comprehensive gun control. As the federal government has continuously faltered in providing a proper solution to gun violence, and with the consequences now directly impacting their daily lives, these young students have taken it upon themselves to speak out and hold legislators accountable for their lack of action.
One student who has been making waves in the conversation is 17-year-old David Hogg, who has been relentless in pushing for reform. Hogg, a survivor of the shooting and a senior at the high school, has recently had conspiracy theories arise regarding his advocacy, with conservative groups and individuals making the claim that both he and other activist students are being coached on what to say and being given specific lines to recite in public.
Senior David Hogg responds to the "immature, rude, and inhuman” smearing of Parkland students coming from some in far-right, pro-Trump media world: https://t.co/QdfpQpeJaG
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) February 20, 2018
As the conspiracy theories continue to circulate regarding the advocacy of these students, Hogg recently spoke out against the unwarranted beliefs, and did so by singling out Donald Trump Jr., the eldest of the Trump children. The high school senior claims that Trump Jr. continues to grant credence to these outrageous theories, as he provides subtle social media support for those posting about the claims. In a report by Newsweek, Hogg states that:
‘It’s unbelievable to me that people are saying this, and the fact that Donald Trump Jr. liked that post is disgusting to me, but it’s also false, in terms of the sense that–these people keep saying that I’m anti-Second Amendment. I’m not.
‘I want every American to be able to own a gun that has a mentally stable mind, a person that has a credible background, that doesn’t have any previous major convictions, and somebody that’s not gonna go out and commit these atrocities, ’cause those are the people that are at fault here.’
The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. was among the many people who “liked” a tweet criticizing Hogg. https://t.co/gOLSKlvFkS
— Matea Gold (@mateagold) February 22, 2018
David Hogg, student & survivor has more insight and maturity then Don Jr could only dream of.
— Anthony Bailey (@dropbear008) February 22, 2018
Hogg further commented that those making the claims against him and his peers, as well as those who show support for the conspiracies, are rude, inhuman, and immature, and provide insight into their desperate need to pedal illogical attacks against survivors of a school shooting.
BREAKING: Parkland Student David Hogg on Trump Jr. 'liking' a Conspiracy theory tweet:
"It's a testament to the sick immaturity & broken state of our government when these people feel the need to peddle conspiracy theories about people that were in a school shooting."
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 20, 2018
Trump Jr., who has remained fairly quiet outwardly regarding recent events, has been showing subtle support for conspiracy theories by liking posts and articles that propose the ludicrous suggestions. In one instance, Trump Jr. liked a Twitter post that referenced Hogg as being coached by his father, a former FBI agent, on what he should say, and to speak out against Trump and current gun policies.
Hogg’s point regarding desperate peddling of conspiracy theories by ultra-conservative groups could not be any more true, especially considering the increasing momentum being picked up by these young activists. In a time where mass shootings have increased in the face of faltering gun laws, the outspokenness of these high school students should not be criticized, but rather empowered, so they can learn and experience the true meaning of democracy.
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