Listen to the victims – no, not these victims

The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, had many survivors, but thanks to the media, two in particular emerged as the public faces and anti-gun anti-NRA spokespeople:


You can hardly miss them wherever you turn, including the social media celebrations today that Emma in a short two weeks since the school massacre has amassed twice as many Twitter followers as the NRA (the debate’s over then). Hogg and Gonzalez, of course, have every right to feel the way they feel, say whatever they want, and campaign in whatever way they see fit for whatever causes and policies they embrace. The trauma they have gone through together with other students at Douglas High is not something that anyone should go through. Surviving traumatic events often gives people fresh perspectives and new motivations, but it doesn’t automatically grant them superior wisdom or unchallangable authority, moral or otherwise. It certainly does not make their opinions immune from disagreement or criticism. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from contrary views.

But while Hogg and Gonzalez find every media forum open to them and listening attentively, no such luck – and exposure – for other Parkland students, whose views don’t neatly fit the media’s favourite anti-gun crusade.

There is Colton Habb, of course:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab said he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night’s town hall but decided not to after the network gave him a “scripted question,” quashing one he wrote himself. Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC shielded students while the school was under attack from the shooter, said he was going to ask about using veterans as armed security guards.

CNN denies the allegation, claiming Haab intended to use the occasion to make a longer statement rather than follow the format.

There is Ariana Klein:

“Our voices need to be heard and he should have been able to ask any question he had to ask but instead we have these networks that don’t want us to give our real opinions and they want us to further their own agendas,” Klein said in an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s FOX News show Thursday night with her father.

Ariana’s father is a Republican who supports the 2nd Amendment, so her views clearly don’t count.

There is Kyle Kashuv, who deleted his earlier tweets that were critical of the Sheriff’s Department’s response to the massacre, after he got piled on on social media by people who didn’t like a Parkland student who wasn’t exclusively blaming the NRA:

This, despite the fact that Kyle tries to be otherwise painfully bi-partisan in his public thoughts:

There is the similarly all-encompassing Thomas Holgate:

But Holgate is not getting the media attention because he thinks that mental health reform and better background checks before selling firearms are more pertinent solutions to the problem than banning weapons or demonising gun-owners.

There is also Aidan Minoff:

Aidan is highly critical of Sheriff Israel and the law enforcement response generally. Which means you are very likely not to have heard from him in the media.

Hogg and Gonzalez will no doubt have a bright future in left-wing activism. So does the mainstream media. But as a society we’re all poorer for having monologues instead of debates, and a “diversity” of voices all agreeing with one another.