The gun control activist appeared on CNN’s “New Day” on the fourth anniversary of the shooting he survived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle and killed 17 students and staff members.
“I’m disappointed, and frankly, if I could say one thing to the president, it’s that we need you to go out and act right now before the next Parkland happens,” Hogg said, referring to Biden’s progress on the issue. “There are things that you can do right now to help prevent it that you have not done. We need you to make good on your promises because kids are dying.”
Biden made gun violence prevention a cornerstone of his campaign for president, but Hogg and other gun safety activists say his actions on the issue have been lackluster. His crackdowns on pistol-stabilizing braces and “ghost guns” that can be purchased without background checks are good steps, they say, but fall far short of the changes needed.
But any sweeping gun violence legislation ― such as stronger background check requirements and bans on assault weapons ― will have to pass through Congress, which is unlikely to act on Biden’s demands for action under current filibuster rules.
Hogg argued Monday that there’s more Biden could be doing, even without Congress.
“There are certain things that he’s leaving on the table that he can do right now, like creating a national office of gun violence prevention and a national director of gun violence prevention, and creating a comprehensive plan to dramatically reduce gun deaths,” the 21-year-old said.
Gun violence in schools remains a significant problem across the country.
A new analysis by the group Everytown for Gun Safety found that between August and December of last year, 136 instances of gun violence took place on school grounds — the most school gun violence in recent history. That’s nearly four times the previous average for that period, according to the group. The incidents resulted in 96 people being injured from gunshot wounds and 26 deaths.