‘High-profile’ Hogg: Teen tour promotes WA gun control initiative

Teen gun control advocate David Hogg was in Seattle over the weekend with two other teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of last February’s tragic school shooting, to promote Initiative 1639, the 30-page gun control measure that would prohibit anyone aged 18-20 from being able to purchase or own a so-called “semiautomatic assault rifle.”

Teen Kyle Kashuv, shown here with gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb, also survived the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school, but he’s not pushing gun control. (Dave Workman)

According to the Seattle P-I.com, Hogg was accompanied by teens Alex Wind and Jammal Lemy, the latter who graduated from the Parkland, Florida high school in 2016, almost two years before the shooting occurred. They were at an event at the Temple de Hirsch Sinai Sunday evening.

The story described Hogg as “high profile” since the shooting. He became something of a media celebrity in the weeks following the Valentine’s Day tragedy, and he is frequently referred to as a “survivor” of the attack.

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Another teen who was not at the Sunday evening event, but was at Stoneman Douglas High School, is Kyle Kashuv. He has been spreading a far different message that he shared last month at the 33rd annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago.

“It is not and it never will be my desire to become the teenage conservative celebrity,” Kashuv told a national audience, as the conference was being live-streamed to viewers across the country. “I’ve never sought the spotlight and I never will.”

He acknowledged it was “understandable” that an immediate reaction to what happened in Parkland had spurred an “emotionally impaired response” to blame guns and demand stricter gun laws.

“But as you wouldn’t blame a car for the actions of an enraged or drunk driver,” he observed, “you wouldn’t blame an inanimate object for the actions of a psychopath.”

But if one listens to grassroots Second Amendment activists now battling to defeat the measure, that’s precisely what it seems the sponsors of I-1639 are doing. Every gun owner in the state would be penalized, and every semi-auto rifle would become a “semiautomatic assault rifle,” activists argue.

Kashuv, who was honored with the Gun Rights Defender of the Year award by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, criticized Congressional Democrats for repeatedly preaching gun control while being protected by armed security. He advocated improved security at schools, noting, “Our kids deserve to be safe in their classrooms.”

But unlike his anti-gun counterparts, he stressed that “gun control is neither the savior of the American classrooms nor that of the streets of Chicago.”

Five law enforcement groups and four newspapers in Washington State seem to get that, but the Everett Herald has joined newspapers in Tacoma and Seattle in supporting passage of the initiative.

“So we must address the issue of school shootings with reason and reason alone,” Kashuv said in Chicago. “And the policies we present must not be for instant gratification to simply make us feel good, to be able to say ‘we did something.’ No. Feel good policies such as the cry for more gun control do nothing to solve the problem at hand.”

Those are thoughts that Washington voters may be having as they fill out their mail-in ballots.

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