When he was 17, David Hogg was sitting in an Environmental Science class at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida when gunshots rang out. He and other students hid in a closet, and he recorded the shooting on his phone, knowing they might all die.  Against all odds, he survived. Seventeen other students did not; seventeen others were wounded. David turned the fear of that day into courage. He turned his anger into purpose. He sacrificed all that being a teenager is supposed to be – proms, applying for college, sports, parties, worrying about grades – and instead set out to change America’s relationship with guns.

 He and other students from Parkland launched the March For Our Lives in 2018, they managed to get legislation passed in gun-friendly Florida, upping the age of possession to 21 and instituting “red flag laws” which allow guns to be temporarily taken from people who make threats. Those changes in law, he now says, probably saved his mother’s life, who received a death threat from a man who lived only twenty minutes away from them. David Hogg has received numerous death threats. He was mocked by Laura Ingraham on Fox News. He was literally chased down and heckled by Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has made heckling her brand. Adults who are supposed to be the mature ones have behaved like out-of-control children who should be sent to their rooms. 

 Since the Parkland shooting there have been 900 school shootings. In the most recent, at Michigan State University, a student named Emma Riddle endured her second mass shooting. Over a year ago, she survived a shooting at Oxford High School. We now have a generation of kids who are achingly familiar with the order, ‘Run, Hide, Fight.’ I’m fairly certain that the so-called adults who have harassed David Hogg and other activists would shatter into pieces if they had faced the terror that these kids were exposed to.

 David Hogg has fought and is still fighting for a country he believes in, despite the fact that elected officials have not fought for him and for the students who go to classes every day wondering if they will hear gunshots ring out, if they will have to hide in closets or under desks, if they will see their friends’ bodies shredded by bullets, or if they will die on what should have been an ordinary school day. 

 The ineptitude of this country in enacting more stringent gun laws has forced teenagers to grow up way too fast and become the adults that those far older than they can’t manage to be. “We need to put our politics aside and get something done,” David Hogg said in a recent interview. He is now 22, he has had to wrestle his way out of PTSD. He has had to confront a country that can’t grow up enough to make guns harder to get and can’t seem to even conceptualize the notion of putting politics aside. 

 I for one am counting the days until David Hogg is 35 and can run for president. Maybe then we’ll have a country that’s safe for kids to go to school. 


  1. Mary Doyle Ward says:

    Great article Patti. David Hogg has been on my mind lately as well. Unfortunately because of the recent heckler during Biden’s wonderful speech. The fact that he as a courageous teenager was stalked and heckled by Marjorie Taylor Greene is unconscionable and upsets me to no end. Thank you for giving David Hogg and his accomplishments, at such a young age, the recognition he well deserves! Yes, he as President in and for the future is indeed a great idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *