The reactions from many Republican officials following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday were full of the thought-and-prayers passivity to which we’ve grown accustomed. To them, the fact that at least 17 students and staff were murdered yesterday by an AR-15-wielding gunman is something that’s basically unavoidable in a free society.
Leave it to David Hogg, a student who was inside the building as his classmates were being slaughtered to call out that NRA-funded fatalism for the bullshit that it is. Speaking to CNN on Thursday morning, Hogg said two of his freshman sister’s friends were killed. “That is something that we should not let happen in this country, especially when we’re going to school,” Hogg said.
“We need to dig out of this hole,” he added. “We need to step out of it and take a look back and realize there’s something seriously wrong here. Some of our policymakers...need to look in the mirror and take some action. Because ideas are great, but without action, ideas stay ideas, and children die.”
Hogg continued: “This is the 18th [mass shooting] this year. That’s unacceptable. We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics, and get something done.”
Why is a teenager, who just hours earlier witnessed a traumatic act of mass violence, making more sense than many Republican elected officials? Hogg and the rest of these kids are better than us, and they surely deserve better than what they’re getting from the people who claim to represent them.