Pin It
gun control
via Twitter (@samwithnosauce)

Parkland shooting survivor won’t return to school until gun control passes

17-year-old David Hogg has also asked tourists to boycott Florida spring break

Young people have been at the forefront of the gun control debate in the U.S. In the aftermath of the horrific Parkland school shooting, which left 17 people dead, teenagers have been speaking their message, visiting the White House and squaring off with the NRA.

17-year-old David Hogg, a student who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has spoken passionately about the need for gun control. He has vowed since that he will not return to school until new measures have been passed.

Speaking at a rally in New Jersey, he said, according to NY Daily News: “I’m not going back to school on Wednesday until one bill is passed. Literally any legislation at this point would be a success.”

David Hogg is just one of many classmates who survived the shootng that have become vocal advocates for change, including Emma Gonzalez, who gave a rousing rally speech that zoned in on Donald Trump, the NRA, and the power of her teenage peers.

In Hogg’s home state Florida, the governor Rick Scott has supported raising the age you can legally buy guns to 21, and giving courts the ability to ban people thought to be a threat from owning guns.

Hogg has also implored on Twitter that people do not visit Florida for spring break. He asserts that tourists – and their money – should refrain from visiting the state until legislation has been implemented as a catalyst for change.

“Let’s make a deal DO NOT come to Florida for spring break unless gun legislation is passed,” he tweeted. “These (politicians) won’t listen to us so maybe (they’ll) listen to the billion dollar tourism industry in FL. #neveragain.”

Hogg asked that instead, people spend their spring break in Puerto Rico, where “they could really use the economic support that the government has failed the provide.”

He and other classmates have also called for people to boycott companies that support the National Rifle Association, including FedEx and Amazon.

In the weeks since the attack, survivors who have been visible advocates for gun control have been accused by conspiracy theorists online of being ‘crisis actors’. Much like those who came from the Sandy Hook school shooting and the London attacks, survivors have to deal with online attacks as well as their current trauma.

Hogg spoke to CNN to say: “These people that have been attacking me on social media, they've been great advertisers. Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people. People have continued to cover us in the media. They’ve done a great job of that, and for that, I honestly thank them.” 

He has been the victim of an online smear campaign that claims he has been “coached” by his father, a former FBI agent, or paid by anti-gun campaigners to act.

“The fact that they're calling out me, as a witness of this horrifying incident, that I'm a crisis actor? ... I feel for those people, honestly,” he said. “They’ve lost faith in America. But we certainly haven’t. And that’s ok, because we’re going to outlive them.”

Read back on our profile of just some of the young campaigners calling for gun control restrictions in the wake of tragedy here.