March for our Lives: Good Intentions, Poor Leadership

Rodney Pascua, Sports Editor

   The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to an outcry about gun legislation in the United States. One organization that came out of this tragedy is the student-led gun control organization Never Again MSD. The organization was founded by survivors of the shooting including Students David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, and Delaney Tarr. Never Again MSD has since gained mass coverage from the media, and it has organized one of the largest protests in US history. While the organization’s campaign is admirable, it has been tainted by hypocrisy in its leadership, demagoguery, and the lack of bipartisanship.

   The leaders of the Never Again Campaign, most prominently Hogg, are guilty of hypocrisy. For example, in response to an apology from Talk Show Host Laura Ingraham, in a tweet, Hogg said, “I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight. It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children” ( This is hypocritical because he has said hateful and slanderous things about Senator Marco Rubio and the National Rifle Association. In an interview with The Outline Hogg said, “What sick f*ckers are out there that want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children, and just get re-elected? What type of person are you when you want to save more f*cking money than children’s lives” (

   Hogg spews this vitriol toward the political right, but when he receives criticism, he uses his age as a shield. Hogg urges people to love one another, when he doesn’t even follow his own advice. Additionally, while the leaders of the organization say that they’re open to discussion, on Real Time With Bill Maher, Hogg openly bragged about hanging up on the White House when invited over for discussion. In summary, the Never Again Campaign is tainted by the hypocrisy of its most ubiquitous leader.

   Another big issue with the Never Again Campaign is how it demagogues the gun issue. Demagoguing is when a figure gains momentum by exploiting people’s prejudices rather than using rational arguments ( The media uses photos of Hogg raising his fist and Gonzales standing in silence to make people feel that what these students are saying is right. Moreover, at the March For Our Lives, rather than using rationale in their speeches, all the speakers did was appeal to people’s emotions. This is a way for them to virtue signal. This does nothing to solve the issue. All it does is leave people misinformed, and they eventually hop on the bandwagon of pushing for legislation that would effectively do nothing. Furthermore, this demagoguing can be counter-intuitive by essentially demonizing gun-rights advocates. Republicans may have a higher voter turnout, because they don’t like this type of rhetoric.

   A third, and arguably the biggest, issue with the Never Again Campaign is the lack of bipartisanship. There is a severe lack of voices from both sides of the gun issue even though the campaign’s mission is to “assure that no special interest group or political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country” ( Additionally, in a pinned tweet, Hogg writes, “Can we please not debate this as Democrats and Republicans but discuss this as Americans?” ( This implies that they want to be bipartisan, but in reality, they don’t.

   For example, Hunter Pollack, brother of Meadow Pollack, a student lost in the shooting, was not invited to speak at the March for Our lives due to his political agenda. In response to Hogg sharing Hunter Pollack’s speech, Pollack tweeted, “Thank you, I appreciate you pushing out my video but there was no miscommunication; my speech didn’t fit in to the agenda” ( Another example is Conservative Survivor Kyle Kashuv. Kashuv advocates for reform that does not restrict Second Amendment Rights, and he has actually gotten items passed on to the omnibus spending bll, but he was not invited to speak at the March for Our Lives ( In summary, the lack of representation from the Never Again Campaign is one its biggest faults.

   The people of the Never Again Campaign have a voice. Everybody sympathizes with them for what they have been through. Organizing one of the largest protests in American history is a huge accomplishment. Their leaders could have futures in politics. However, if the Never Again Campaign wants to actually get things done, the behavior of its leadership must be fixed, rational and logical arguments need to be favored over emotion, and there needs to be a reach across the aisle.