snakechick said: I apologize for the length.
I read a piece by you today, something introspective. It was called "How to Find the Higher Ground." In it, you state: "We owe it to one another to disagree agreeably without anger or intimidation. A little more grace could go a long way toward healing the nation."
I pray your wife is doing better, and that you're also in good health.
David Hogg is a 17-year-old teenager. A very intelligent teenager, but still a teenager. Together, with his friends, he decided to build a movement to prevent what happened to them from happening again. They planned a march for March 24th. They were able to coordinate with other kids across the country, who themselves were victims of gun violence, from all walks of life.
It has been clear to me from the beginning that the students had researched and knew what they were talking about. They are articulate, motivated, and like other teenagers, feel they can change the world for the better. They are firm in their beliefs and convictions. And they are also grieving. They can probably hear gunshots in the quiet. Maybe they have nightmares because the images of their classmates and teachers lying dead on the floor are seared into their minds. I imagine survivor's guilt is also a problem. David Hogg's little sister was in the school and she lost friends. Sam Zeif's little brother was on the floor where the shooter was and saw his teacher shot. Sam continued to text him. That has to all be lingering. And then there are the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, guilt, remorse, anger, bargaining, acceptance. They are going through these too.
Mr. Hogg called for a boycott of the NRA because they're killing children? At least in leadership, that's a logical assumption. They are a gun lobby that represents gun manufacturers. So they are against every common sense law that is proposed. That makes it easier for people to buy guns and more people, including children, are killed. Until the NRA works with the government to save people's lives, David Hogg is not lying.
Why did he blame Rick Scott? Scott is the one that signs bills into laws. Would the killer have gotten the gun if there was a more expansive background check, a waiting period or had to be 21 years old to purchase it? How about mental health support for the killer? More money for security/SROs? We won't ever know because those laws weren't passed until after the shooting.
The elected Sheriff, Sheriff Israel, and the local government were limited in what they could do because of state laws. And Florida has the most powerful NRA lobbyist in the country. Marion Hammer wrote and pushed through legislation to Stand Your Ground and CCW. The other states usually wait to see what Florida does before passing their own laws.
When David responds to someone, is he doing he attacking the person personally, or their views on gun violence and gun control? One he's saying "Dang, your nose is one horrible honker." The other is "You're claim of *whatever* is false, according to this study." or "I think you're wrong." That is discourse, not bullying. Since you said the media would already be going after these people, it seems logical that he too would not get along with him. Calling for protests on companies who support gun-violence? That is called an action, not bullying. It is how protests and movements like Never Again work. They want pressure put on advertisers and sponsors. They want to interrupt the norm and get people's attention. Can David Hogg be abrupt and sound angry? Yes, he can be. Do you know what he's thinking about when he's speaking? Neither do I, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was anger or depression.
And I believe that his experiences should be a consideration in how things are said, but not used as a petty excuse for why you can't do anything. Maybe it is the David and Goliath syndrome?
As far as Ms. Ingraham goes...she personally attacked him. She basically said he wasn't intelligent because he didn't get into schools. What was the purpose? Seriously, what. was. the. purpose. Was it said to make David look at least neutral? Was it about an action or a quote about gun violence?. IT WAS SAID TO BE MEAN AND MAKE HIM LOOK BAD. A KID. A MINOR. Would you like something like this to come out about your kids?
It sets a very poor example of Laura Ingraham. She is a 54-year-old woman who attacked a 17-year-old boy that was probably sitting in class when she tweeted it. How incredibly childish. Seriously, I don't why people do that. Why you're doing it.
But David Hogg's response was so high above the bar that Ms. Ingraham set. Let me ask? Was she critical of the students before? Or the march? Did anything happen? Maybe she stuck to the subject of the movement, or the shooting?
This time it wasn't and Mr. Hogg put up a list of sponsors because this woman personally attacked him. It's called accountability. There are consequences for words. And it's not like she didn't know that David liked to put up sponsors to back them out. Again...not bullying. Corporations should choose to sponsor things that represent their values. This certainly didn't demonstrate any.
That tweet went out to 2.1 million followers. It was not an inconsequential tweet. And by doing that, she also said that it was okay to treat another human being in such a matter. And that is was all right to do it even if a minor was involved.
And then there's the issue of her "apology." - not apology. She didn't apologize for saying what she did, she apologized if it hurt anyone. And she didn't tweet it until after four sponsors dropped her show. It was an insult to any Christian that reveres Jesus during Holy Week that because it's Holy Week, she'll apologize. Does that mean she wouldn't apologize if it wasn't Holy Week? If she was trying to make herself look more "pious" - she failed. Epically. Then she used David Hogg, and his first appearance to promote her show...by inviting him and by posting the video to his first appearance. If she wanted to apologize, why didn't she when she first got responses? When did she realize it might be hurtful to David Hogg or any other student at Stoneman Douglas? Was she so busy reveling in the hate, that she just didn't care at all? Can she really be that horrible a person? And the most important question: WHY DID SHE EVEN TWEET THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
54-year-old - 0 17-year-old 1
Did you ever ask to speak to Mr. Hogg at anytime before this blog to get an understanding of where he is coming from? Something like "I've watched you, and you seem so very argumentative. I'm trying to understand what is going on in your head, as a Conservative that disagrees with your stance on guns?" No? Please don't judge his actions. You don't have any clue as to what he is going through.
You took a look at your life and talked about some profound things. You wanted to leave something for your children.
Are your children going to read this and see what you told them? Did you "disagree agreeably" when you wrote this blog? "Without anger or intimidation whether on the front porch or Facebook?" Did you show a little grace to help the healing of our nation?
Let me leave you with a couple of quotes:
"We're so polarized as a nation. It's so much easier to hate."
"People need to realize that when they counter these things, to come with an American tone, not a divisive one."
~David Hogg (from the mouth of babes)