Seventeen-year-old activist David Hogg targeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) during an incendiary speech at the massive gun control protest that shut down Washington, D.C., Saturday.
Hogg, who became the de facto spokesman for the youth gun control movement after surviving the Valentine’s Day mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., accused Rubio of prioritizing campaign contributions over the lives of students.
“I’m going to start off by putting this price tag right here as a reminder for you guys to know how much Marco Rubio took for every student’s life in Florida,” Hogg said before a crowd of tens of thousands gathered in front of the Capitol building.
“If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking. They’ve gotten used to being protective of their position, choosing the safety of inaction. Inaction is no longer safe, and to that we say no more,” he said.
“I’m going to start off by putting this price tag right here as a reminder for you guys to know how much Marco Rubio took for every student’s life in Florida,” Parkland survivor David Hogg says at #MarchForOurLives. pic.twitter.com/i54QSygI4C
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 24, 2018
Several Parkland survivors attended the march wearing tags reading $1.05, a figure Parkland student Sarah Chadwick reached by dividing the National Rifle Association (NRA) contributions Rubio has received by the number of high school students enrolled in Florida. Hogg tied one of the orange tags to the microphone before beginning his speech.
“Is that all we’re worth to these politicians? A dollar-five? Would $17.85 be all it cost you that day, Mr. Rubio?” Chadwick asked in an interview with the New York Post, referencing the 17 students killed in the Parkland shooting.
Rubio responded Saturday on Twitter by calling for compromise.
Today many are peacefully exercising their #1A right to march for gun ban. Many support gun ban. But many others see it as infringement of #2A that won’t prevent shootings. Protest is good way of making a point,but making a change will require both sides finding common ground
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 24, 2018
The protest march in Washington, D.C., which organizers claim drew over 800,000 participants, was just one of more than 800 “March for our Lives” demonstrations planned in every state in the union and on every continent.
A group of pro-gun control Parkland students served as the public face for the demonstrations while a coalition of liberal political advocacy groups including Everytown for Gun Safety, Move On, and Women’s March LA, provided funding and organizational assistance.
Hogg’s fiery speech is just the latest instance in which the teen has resorted to divisive language and personal attacks on his political opponents. He previously referred to pro-second amendment lawmakers as “pathetic f***ers” and said “they could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action because they all still see those dollar signs.”