The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Gun violence activist David Hogg speaks at UW-Eau Claire

‘School shootings are the leading cause of death in young people and the leading cause of death of the American Dream’
Photo by Mady Leick
Hogg Speaks on gun reform to a large audience.

On Monday, Oct. 23 in the Schofield Auditorium, activist David Hogg took center stage and discussed his experience at the hands of gun violence as part of UW-Eau Claire’s The Forum series.

Hogg is a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, which is one of the largest school shootings in modern history. This was a defining moment in Hogg’s life.

“There was a real chance we could die in our classroom,” Hogg said.

He said this moment impacted the rest of his life and led him to activism. He feared this shooting would be forgotten as just another moment in the hectic news cycle. 

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Hogg decided that he would share his experience, which led to his first television interview with Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham. 

“These are not just statistics, these are people,” Hogg said.

He went on to form the student-led organization March For Our Lives. The organization hosted the largest school walkout since the Vietnam War with over 800,000 students walking out. 

In Hogg’s speech he discussed hope, and how impactful it can be.

“So much hatred comes from a fear of unknown,” Hogg said. 

Activism is a priority for Hogg. During his time as an activist, Hogg has had the opportunity to meet people from around the nation. 

Hogg said he learned of the systemic issues that are applied in his situation. As Hogg discussed, Parkland, Florida is a primarily white and wealthy area. Most shootings occur in places diametrically opposed. 

He had the opportunity to meet the people who are most hurt by gun violence: marginalized people. 

Black and Brown communities in America are far more likely to be impacted by redlining, which increases gun violence.  

“Racism is not a mental illness,” Hogg said. “Hatred is learned.” 

Hogg explained the core issue of gun violence. He discussed the systematic failures of the American Government. 

A big focus of his speech was on activism by everyday citizens. He discussed how important local involvement is. He has spent time as a door knocker, even as a famous activist. 

He supports local legislatures and said that public service is something that should not be a sacrifice. 

His activism will only continue as Hogg said, “the only good politician is a scared politician.”

Leick can be reached at “l[email protected].”

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