One of the teen survivors of the Florida school shooting suggested Saturday that tourists stay away from the state until gun control measures are enacted.
“Let’s make a deal DO NOT come to Florida for spring break unless gun legislation is passed. These [politicians] won’t listen to us so maybe [they’ll] listen to the billion dollar tourism industry in FL,” tweeted David Hogg, a 17-year-old senior and student reporter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida.
Hogg — who has been a major player in the student-activist movement staging protests in Florida calling for stricter gun laws — sent the tweet to his followers, which now number more than 300,000.
Hogg — whose Twitter bio describes him as a “film maker, entrepreneur, surfer” — co-founded the student mobilization group Never Again MSD, creating the #neveragain hashtag online and calling for a ban on certain weapons and improved care for the mentally ill since a shooter slaughtered 17 people at the Parkland high school on Valentine’s Day. “MSD” refers to his Parkland school.
Alleged teen gunman, Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 and had a history of emotional problems, according to investigators. Cruz was arrested and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Wendy Glaab, 60, of Fonthill, Ontario, Canada, was among the first to respond to his tweet. “I like many Canadians travel to Florida from time to time to escape our winter. I can’t speak for others but I will not be returning until meaningful gun control legislation is in place.”
Glaab told The Associated Press on Saturday that her sister owns property in Fort Lauderdale and she is able to visit any time she chooses.
“Better Idea: Spend your spring break in Puerto Rico, it’s a beautiful place with amazing people. They could really use the economic support that the government has failed to provide,” Hogg followed up in a separate tweet.
It’s too soon to tell how significantly the aftermath of the massacre might sway the country’s wider gun debate.
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference that people advocating for stricter gun control were exploiting the Florida shooting.
President Donald Trump has suggested some teachers could be armed so they could fire on any attacker. However, Trump also has called for raising the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles, a move the NRA has opposed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.