Two students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of a mass shooting that left 17 people dead, appeared on CNN's New Day Monday morning. While they expressed optimism about a gun control bill recently passed by the Florida legislature, they did not hesitate to go after the National Rifle Association and romanticize countries with tougher gun laws.
David Hogg and Alfonso Calderon appeared on the show nearly a month after an expelled former student opened fire on the Parkland, Florida high school. The duo have become gun control activists in their own right, with Calderon previously telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the “toxic” and “vile” NRA is “basically killing kids.”
Co-anchor Alisyn Camerota asked Hogg for his thoughts on the White House’s recently unveiled gun policy proposal, which advocates arming teachers, putting retired law enforcement officials and veterans in schools as security guards, urges states to allow firearm removal from threatening individuals, and creates a task force headed by Education Secretary, and object of liberal rage, Betsy Devos, that will study the impacts of raising the age to buy certain firearms from 18 to 21.
Hogg did appreciate that the bill “answers basically one of the three main issues that we are trying to fix here” but argued that it did not go far enough, urging President Trump to “show us that you’re better than these other politicians, that you aren’t owned by the NRA and that you actually want to take action.” One could safely assume that Hogg preferred President Trump’s rhetoric at the open-door meeting two weeks ago.
Camerota then asked Calderon about the bill recently passed by the Florida legislature, the provisions of which include banning bump stocks, raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21, and arming some teachers. Calderon expressed his gratitude to Florida lawmakers for "taking the American people and the kids, especially the ones striving for change, seriously."
The anchor then opened up a Pandora’s Box when she brought up the National Rifle Association’s lawsuit against the State of Florida over its passage of the bill. She asked Hogg for his response to the NRA statement alleging that “Preventing a responsible 20-year-old from purchasing the best tool for self-defense will not stop a deranged criminal intent on committing a crime.” Hogg responded by going on a tirade against the NRA: “Let us sell you more guns at an even younger age, put more people at risk, scare more people, cause more violence, kill more people, and sell more guns.”
Hogg had previously unloaded on the NRA during an appearance on New Day two weeks earlier.
Playing devil’s advocate, Camerota recited the NRA’s most frequent argument, which basically says that the only person who can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Hogg referred to her premise as a “false notion” and argued that America’s gun laws should more closely mirror those of liberals’ favorite countries: “If you look at all the other countries like Canada, like Sweden and so many others that are first world countries and are places that have more developed gun laws and are more restrictive on gun ownership and see it as more as a privilege rather than a right.” In other words, he wants to repeal the Second Amendment.
Camerota closed the interview with the Douglas High School students by reading part of an ad they took out in The New York Times asking everyday Americans to donate buses, flights, and train tickets to schools hoping to attend the “March for Our Lives” taking place on March 24, which gun control advocates hope will serve as a catalyst for Congress to pass “comprehensive” gun laws.
Even as more and more disturbing information continues to come to light revealing failure of government at the state, local, and national level to respond to red flags about the Douglas High School shooter before it was too late, liberals will continue to blame guns and the media will continue to push the gun control narrative.
CNN New Day
ALISYN CAMEROTA: The White House has unveiled a plan to address gun violence and school shootings. It includes funding to train teachers to carry firearms but does not include the President’s proposal to raise the age limit for buying rifles to 21. It has been almost one month since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Two survivors are with us now, Alfonso Calderon and David Hogg. Guys, thank you so much. It’s great to see you, as always. Thank you very much for being here. David, let’s start with what the White House’s proposal is. I’ll put it up on the screen for everybody. It does not include, as we said, a plan to increase the age limit but it does provide qualified personnel, as they put it, meaning teachers, with firearm training. It supports retired law enforcement and veterans to transition to working in schools as security guards. It urges states to allow firearm removal from threatening individuals. It creates a task force to study age restrictions. And it supports the “Fix NICS” program by Senators Cornyn and Murphy. What do you think of the White House’s proposal, David?
DAVID HOGG: Well, I think what the White House’s proposal does is it answers basically one of the three main issues that we are trying to fix here, mental health care, universal background checks, and just more gun control in general. And what President Trump showed when he said that he wanted to raise the age to 21 is bipartisanship in that he wanted to work together on this and save some lives. But the other thing that he showed after that is that he’s no better than the other politicians because he said, he called out other GOP members and said that you, essentially you are owned by the NRA and that’s why you don’t want to take action. But then he stepped back down from where he was and that’s why we’re seeing this stuff and I ask him why. Show us that you’re better than these other politicians, that you aren’t owned by the NRA and that you actually want to take action. Those proposals were great but proposals without action remain proposals.
CAMEROTA: So Alfonso, you were one of the students, the eight students, I believe, who actively lobbied the Florida state legislature and it worked. I mean, in the space of three weeks after the massacre at your school, Florida passed this, you know, fairly comprehensive bill. Here’s what is in that bill. They raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21. They banned the sale of bump stocks. They give law enforcement greater power to seize weapons temporarily from people who are dangerous, they provide additional funding for more school security officers, and they arm some teachers. How are you feeling about this today?
ALFONSO CALDERON: I mean, you’ve got to enjoy the victories when you have them. I have to be a little bit grateful to the Florida legislature because when I went there in, to Tallahassee a few weeks ago, it was not looking great. You know, they ignored most of our meetings, they disrespected us. But I’m glad now they are taking the American people and the kids, especially the ones striving for change, seriously.
CAMEROTA: So that said, as you guys both know, the NRA is suing Florida because of this. The NRA doesn’t believe that...
CALDERON: Of course.
CAMEROTA: ...18-year-olds shouldn’t be able to buy firearms. They say that that is their Constitutional right. So let me read to you the NRA’s statement: “Preventing a responsible 20-year-old from purchasing the best tool for self-defense will not stop a deranged criminal intent on committing a crime. Imposing a 3-day waiting period on rifle and shotgun purchases would not have stopped any of the high-profile mass shootings in recent years.” What’s your response, David?
HOGG: My response to that is Nick Cruz was nineteen and literally bought his assault rifle. It’s offensive that they would say that because this would have stopped him because he would legally not have been able to get this gun but he was able to. And it’s part of the reason why we had this massacre occur at our school. And I know what the NRA likes to do, the people at the top of the NRA like to do, is they like to hide behind the Second Amendment and say that this is our Constitutional right. We’re Americans. And what they’re really trying to do is say “let us sell you more guns at an even younger age, put more people at risk, scare more people, cause more violence, kill more people, and sell more guns.
CALDERON: Absolutely. To that I have to add, when are you going to use an AR-15 for self-defense? Please explain that to me. I find it absolutely preposterous that anyone could claim that you’re going to use a military-grade assault rifle in order to defend yourself, especially in schools because as you may know, one of our dear lost teachers here, Mr. Scott Beigel, was shot before he could even reach his classroom. It is ridiculous to assume that that is a self-defense weapon.
CAMEROTA: I mean, look, you know what they would say. I mean, I’ve heard it a million times from the NRA, is that they want to have the same fire power that the bad guy has. So if only the bad guy has the AR-15 but the good guys are prevented from buying it, that’s a, you know, sort of an unequal setup that leaves them as a sitting duck.
HOGG: Well, I think that’s just a false notion. If you look at all the other countries like Canada, like Sweden and so many others that are first world countries and are places that have more developed gun laws and are more restrictive on gun ownership and see it as more as a privilege rather than a right. They allow people to own guns, just in a way more controlled way and make sure that they’re still allowed to own them and responsible and respectable way. And we want to make sure Americans can do that too, we just don’t think that mentally deranged individuals, people under the age of 21 or anyone else that has like a criminal background, for example, should be able to get a weapon.
CAMEROTA: So guys, listen...
ALFONSO CALDERON: They always talk about the narrative...
CAMEROTA: No, quickly, go ahead. Go ahead Alfonso before I get to your full-page ad.
CALDERON: Thank you. They always talk about the narrative of good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns. But to that I say, what if the bad guys couldn’t get the guns because we have comprehensive gun laws? Because that’s not what we have in this country right now and it’s very evident because of what happened at my school right there.
CAMEROTA: Okay so let me get to the action that you all are taking. You’ve taken out this full-page ad in The New York Times. I’ll read just a portion of it. And this is about what’s going to happen on March 24th and the march, national march you’re hoping for. Please help us. Adopt a school in your area who wants to attend the March For Our Lives in Washington and pay for them to do it. Donate buses, flights, train tickets. Donate your time or your talent, or donate directly to March For Our Lives. For this to be really Never Again, we all have to stand together.” What are you both hoping for on March 24th?
HOGG: What we’re hoping for is comprehensive, bipartisan work where we come together as Americans and not debate each other as Democrats and Republicans but discuss this as the Americans that we are because at the end of the day, we all bleed the same American blood. We need to realize that, come together and work together to save our children and save our future. That’s what we want to do March 24th.
CAMEROTA: Alfonso, last word.
CAMEROTA: Okay, there you go.
CALDERON: We just want to give an open inv...
CAMEROTA: I’m so sorry you guys about the delay. I know that it makes it super awkward but you got your message across. And obviously, we will be watching you on March 24th and all of the days up until then. Thank you both very much for being here with us today.