Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg has become one of the key faces of the teenage angst against gun violence in America, and on Tuesday, he criticized Donald Trump during an appearance on CNN.
The United States is well into the third week of a partial government shutdown brought on due to an impasse between Democrats and Republicans regarding spending priorities. President Trump has demanded that Democrats allocate $5.6 billion in spending for improvements to the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Democrats have refused to fund the wall, leading Trump to continue to withhold his signature from a spending bill to re-open the branches of the government which have closed.
Trump has spoken of the possible avenue of declaring a “national emergency” in order to acquire the necessary funds to fund the wall project should Democrats refuse to accede to his request, per CNN.
Trump has said that not building the wall poses an immediate and grave danger to the security of the country, calling the influx of undocumented immigrants a “crisis” at the southern border. Even though many immigration experts contest this assertion — arguing that the influx of illegal immigrants through Mexico is at an all-time low since 2000 — Trump has continued to cast the problem as a “national emergency.”
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. We can do it. I haven’t done it, I may do it. I may do it, but we can call a national emergency and build it quickly, it’s another way of doing it,” he said on Friday.
Trump gave a televised prime-time address on Tuesday night on the subject.
On Tuesday morning, Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg hit back at Trump, saying that Americans dying of gun violence was a pretty alarming “national emergency” that the President would do well to focus on.
“If we really want to start talking about the 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 off with.”
Trump earlier threatened Democratic leaders with keeping 25 percent of the government shut down for “years” if they didn’t agree to fund the wall. Hogg said that gun violence is such a burning issue in contemporary America that it should receive “nonpartisan” attention in Washington.
“Bullets don’t discriminate and neither should our legislators,” he added.
It remains to be seen what Donald Trump has to say to the American people on Tuesday night, though it is likely that the president is running out of ways to live up to his campaign promise of building the U.S.-Mexico border wall.