David Hogg says Donald Trump should declare national emergency over gun deaths, not immigration

January 8, 2019 GMT

Gun violence is more deserving of being deemed a national emergency than building President Trump’s border wall, school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg said Tuesday.

“If we really want to start talking about a national emergency like the president likes to talk about, 40,000 Americans dying annually from gun violence is a pretty damn good one to start out with because it is an issue that is nonpartisan. At least I would hope so, considering the fact that both Democrats and Republicans die from gun violence,” Mr. Hogg, 18, said during an interview on CNN.

“Bullets don’t discriminate and neither should our legislators,” Mr. Hogg added. He is a survivor of the February 2018 mass shooting that claimed 17 lives and wounded 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Mr. Hogg made the suggestion ahead of Mr. Trump addressing the nation Tuesday evening about what the president referred to as a “humanitarian and national security crisis” at the southern border with Mexico.


Mr. Trump previously said he was considering using presidential emergency powers to order to build the proposed wall at the border, potentially fulfilling a contentious campaign promise at the center of the partial government shutdown that started Dec. 22.

Democrats, meanwhile, planned to introduce a gun reform bill mandating universal background checks on Tuesday afternoon, eight years to the day since former Rep. Gabby Gifford was shot and nearly killed during a meeting with constituents in Tuscon, Arizona.

A total of 39,773 people were killed by firearms in the U.S. 2017, setting a modern record for annual gun deaths, The New York Times reported last month.

Sixteen students and a staff member were killed during the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. Nikolas Cruz, a former Parkland student, has been charged with their murders.