Outspoken anti–gun activist David Hogg has been receiving a flurry of backlash online after callously attacking Republican U.S Sen. Rick Scott of Florida following the Louisville massacre.
On Monday morning, a lone gunman killed five and wounded at least eight others, including two police officers, at the downtown Old National Bank. Among the deceased was 63–year–old Tommy Elliott — and Scott mourned him on Monday night.
In response, Hogg tweeted to Scott, “Must be tough knowing you’re complicit.” He followed the tweet with a second one, saying, “Your staff is [sic] also literally met with the survivors of gun violence, and said that they don’t care [sic] it is extremely hard for me to have sympathy for you. You have an enormous amount of power that could’ve been used to prevent what happened today and in Parkland.”
My friend Tommy Elliott was killed today in Louisville. He was my banker for many years. This news is very shocking and sad for Ann and me. He did so much in the Louisville community, and we pray for his family during this awful time.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) April 11, 2023
Scott’s response was to express his sadness and devastation over the loss of his friend. He was met with a barrage of criticism from Republicans across social media.
Bryan Suits of KTTH–AM in Seattle told Hogg, “You‘re now twisted by what you think you hate. Come up for air and see the cartoon of yourself you‘ve become.”
Brandon Morse, senior editor of RedState, offered to Hogg that “you might be one of the biggest pieces of s**t on this platform.”
Republican communicator Matt Whitlock told Hogg “with crap like this you‘ve done more damage to the cause you care about than probably anyone else in the last decade. Log off, kid.”
Chicks on the Right called Hogg “a literal piece of s**t.”
Other commenters agreed that Hogg‘s words were callous and heartless, and that he had no place to be making such comments in the wake of a tragedy.
Hogg has since posted a number of other provocative statements on Twitter, but one particular tweet posted Tuesday morning stands out for its irony: “The only way we can truly end gun violence is if we come together, have hard conversations, and find common ground.”
To be honest I think it might be social media more than anything that prevents us on making progress on addressing gun violence together- because it kills all nuance and only polarizes people more. There is a lot we do agree on and aren’t doing.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) April 11, 2023
This statement has been met with both mockery and criticism, as many Republicans have pointed out that Hogg‘s own words are anything but conducive to finding common ground.