On Tuesday's Good Morning America, fill-in anchor David Muir held a sympathetic sit-down with Parkland activist David Hogg and his sister Lauren to promote their anti-gun activism movement called #NeverAgain. Muir pretended that Hogg had never been nasty to people who disagreed with him politically, and actually asked him what lessons he could share about how to deal with critics, with fellow young people.
The short interview started with Muir getting straight to the point, asking Hogg how he’d respond to his critics “who believe” that he’s infringing on their Second Amendment rights. Muir even asked how he'd be the one to “bridge the divide:”
DAVID MUIR: There are people who believe you’re infringing upon their Second Amendment right. For those who are watching who believe that right now, What wouldn’t say to them as on opening to a dialogue with them to bridge the divide, what would you say?
Hogg compared the right to own a gun to secondhand smoke, seemingly unaware that the right to light a cigarette isn’t in the Constitution. But then again, ABC is asking for legislative advice from an 18-year-old:
DAVID HOGG: I'd say back couple decades ago, where you could smoke everywhere and people we getting a lot of cancer from secondhand smoke, even if they didn’t smoke, they implemented regulations that made so you didn't inflict people around you by doing that. People can still smoke. They made it so that so not as many people drink and drive. They raised the age to 21. But you can still drink once you pass 21. I think in the same way that we can have these regulations, we can have regulations like universal background check and common sense gun laws that will save lives and really just save our future and our kids. We can’t let this stuff continue to happen.
At this point, Muir turned from reporter to advocate. “You're not asking to take guns away. You're asking for universal background checks,” he stated.
He continued with the softball interview, praising Hogg for having to put up with criticism since coming into the national spotlight:
“You've dealt with a lot of the names, the conspiracy theories, people saying you're a paid crisis actor, an FBI apologist ---” Muir began.
“They’re people saying we’re the same person!” Hogg joked. Muir joked back that Hogg had “better hair.” The ABC anchor then encouraged the liberal adolescent to offer fellow young people advice on how to handle their haters.
What made this question ridiculous is that Hogg has hardly been the model of decorum and civility to people he disagrees with since he came into the national spotlight. Regardless, he answered by saying that people basically needed to follow the Golden Rule:
MUIR: In dealing with sort of what's come at you, I know you can handle the name-calling. But I'm curious what it says about the country that we're in right now. You’re young people and you learned immediately how polarized the country is. Is there lesson in that you can offer to other people your age, perhaps how to change it, how to bring people together?
HOGG: I think for everybody, I spent Father Day, March for our Lives was in Ferguson, Missouri with Mike Brown's father. When we were there, they said to us, close your eyes and imagine the person you love closest to you, imagine them as the person that you go to when you’re crying, when you need a shoulder to cry on and the person you hold so close, now imagine losing that person as result of gun violence. This country regardless of what's happening, regardless of who its happening to, needs to practice empathy and understand that regardless of where you come from and who you are, suffering the same. At the end of the day, we cry the same tears. We bleed the same blood. We're all human beings and we need to start to treat each other as such and put each other in different people’s shoes.
Muir gave the last question to Hogg’s sister, Lauren, asking if she believed there was “common ground” people could agree on.
Lauren echoed her brother, saying the issue wasn’t partisan, despite the fact that her brother has repeatedly and harshly attacked Republicans and gun owners as cowards and murderers.