Last Tuesday, Linda and I attended the Westminster Town Hall Forum at Westminster Presbyterian Church in down town Minneapolis. The featured speaker was 19 year old David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Hign School massacre in Parkland, Florida in 2018. He is among 20 Parkland students who founded Never Again MSD, and he is a founding member of March for Our Lives, one of the largest youth led movements in the world. David took a gap year to go around the USA to speak of gun violence prevention. He is headed for Harvard University this fall. The church was packed to over-flowing. Here are some of the profound points he made.

1. If you are afraid of a background check, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.
2. The NRA made it a crime to study gun violence.
3. Toy guns are more regulated than real guns.
4. It is against the law to sue a gun manufacturer.
5. The freedom the NRA describes is the freedom of White Supremacy.
6. Hardening of schools makes them a prison.
7. The struggle for gun violence prevention is a fight against the sources of evil.
8. A person should need a license to buy a gun.
9. It took White kids getting killed before we started talking about gun violence prevention.
10. Stigmatizing mental health is not going to solve the problem.
11. No White nationalist should be armed.
12. Universal background checks poll higher than puppies!
13. Every generation will save the country. Let’s work together against the sources of evil. Work together and love each other.

David told a story of when he was going to speak at a gathering. About 30 armed protestors showed up, calling out, “Where’s that Hogg boy?” David went out to talk with them. They shouted, “You want to take away our guns!” David asked them three questions: 1) Do you want to kill yourself?; 2) Do you want to commit domestic violence?; 3) Are you a White Supremist? To all of the questions they responded “No!” David responded, “Then I do not want to take away your guns.”

Gun violence prevention (GVP) is not blindly taking all guns from people. GVP is preventing irresponsible people who are a threat to others and themselves from acquiring guns.

David should know.


Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes