The recent weeks have seen widespread protests regarding the latest school shootings and the issue of gun violence. First was the National Walkout Day on March 14, which featured numerous student walkout rallies on multiple college campuses and public school districts, including the district where I attended high school in Georgia.
Next was the so-called “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., on March 24. It was a series of demonstrations that also called for more gun control legislation in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida. From the lens of the mainstream media, you would think that these protests mainly compose of students walking out of school to protest for gun control. You might think they protest against the National Rifle Association out of fear of another possible school shooting that could threaten their lives. Hence, the media would want you to believe that these protests’ supporters are serious about solving the problem of school shootings. They are not.
According to University of Maryland sociology professor Dana R. Fisher, who surveyed the march’s participants, kids less than 18 years old made up only 10 percent of the march in D.C. Fisher also noted that the average adult protester was slightly younger than 49 years old.
The march also featured David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting, who has now become a favorite tool of the media in its support for the gun control agenda. But rather than having a serious conversation on how to prevent future school shootings, the march’s organizers mainly resorted to slandering the character of those who disagree with them.
At the D.C. march and other related rallies, Hogg and other anti-gun demonstrators have called the NRA and Second Amendment supports child murderers while bashing Marco Rubio and other politicians for being bought by the NRA at the expense of the lives taken at the Parkland school shooting. To sum it up, they have cast the opposition as people who don’t care about the lives lost to the tragic school shootings that have recently happened.
Though Hogg deserves sympathy for the trauma he went through at the Parkland shooting, he certainly does not speak for all shooting survivors. Each survivor of these tragedies as well as their families and loved ones has a right to think for themselves. In fact, a handful of the Parkland shooting survivors and their family members, including Kyle Kashuv and Hunter Pollack, have come out against extreme gun control measures, and Hogg and other gun control advocates have no right to bully these people into thinking in a certain way. Had the “March for Our Lives” movement really wanted a serious conversation about saving lives, it would at least include Kashuv and Pollack in the discussion. Yet, neither of these survivors were invited to attend the march, and according to Pollack, he was even denied a speaking slot. Conservatives have brought up solutions such as arming teachers and hiring armed guards to protect students from future shootings, yet the march and its supporters almost never consider these alternatives. Both Sen. Rubio and his Democratic home-state counterpart Bill Nelson are pushing sensible school safety legislation as an alternative to the anti-Second Amendment solution supported by Hogg and the “March for Our Lives” demonstrators yet Hogg has gone on a profanity-ridden rant against them instead of giving serious consideration to these alternatives.
Sen. Nelson typically toes the progressive party line of the Democrats, but if his legislative work with Marco Rubio cannot satisfy the “March for Our Lives” supporters, then at some point, one would have to question if the movement’s anti-gun extremism is preventing our ability as Americans to solve the problem of school shootings. More importantly, one would need to second guess whether the movement is even serious about saving the lives of students threatened in future school shootings. In the end, the “March for Our Lives” movement, one that gets vocal support from Planned Parenthood, a group known for murdering and tearing apart babies, is not serious about children’s lives after all. It is an extremist movement all aimed at bullying law-abiding citizens into surrendering their Second Amendment right, pure and simple.
In Federalist 1, Alexander Hamilton warned of a “torrent of angry and malignant passions” that would turn a republic into an absolute state. By throwing F‑bombs at the NRA and labeling Second Amendment supporters as child killers, David Hogg and the “March for Our Lives” movement, with help from the mainstream media, have unleashed these violent passions and bring about the very demagogues that Hamilton and the founders warned of. With Hogg and these gun control advocates attempting to translate these passions into political results in the 2018 midterms, one should be very wary of the anti-gun Democrats who could take control of the US House and possibly the Senate.
Doyle Wang is a junior studying politics.