One of the surviving students-turned-activists from the Parkland, Florida school massacre has come up with a new tactic in the fight he and his classmates have vowed to win in their campaign to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the murder of 17 of their classmates and teachers.
David Hogg, one of the most telegenic and articulate students amongst the survivors, knows that money is what motivates the legislators in Florida, so he has gone onto Twitter to propose a boycott with enormous financial implications for the state that would involve the sympathetic support of other students from around the country who may be eager to do what they can to advance the gun regulation agenda.
Let's make a deal DO NOT come to Florida for spring break unless gun legislation is passed. These politions won't listen to us so maybe the'll listen to the billion dollar tourism industry in FL. #neveragain
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 24, 2018
A boycott by college students who spend over a billion dollars each year around the country on Spring Break vacation partying would have a severe impact on the lucrative Florida tourism industry, so Hogg’s move to call for students to travel elsewhere for their annual sun-drenched sprees is a brilliant strategy to pressure the Florida legislature — which is highly dependent on the tax revenue that tourism generates to fill state coffers –to move ahead with gun control bills.
While the idea of a Spring Break boycott is a smart tactical move on the student activists’ part, perhaps it can be expanded further to even greater effect. The movement to pressure corporations to sever their ties with the NRA has yielded unprecedented success in the last week alone with companies ranging from the car rental behemoth Enterprise Holdings , United and Delta Airlines, MetLife and Chubb insurance, and North American Moving Services all jumping ship from their NRA partnerships yesterday.
Why not expand the call for a boycott to include the many tourist attractions in Orlando and Miami as well? With Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, and others all highly vulnerable to the public pressure that a vow not to visit until gun laws are changed would create, such a boycott could be just the leverage that NRA-controlled Republican politicians in Florida need to motivate them to take the kind of drastic actions that are needed to prevent a recurrence of another tragedy like the Parkland shootings.
With the intense public pressure so far resulting in some Florida politicians beginning to call for an increase in the legal age for buying weapons and the banning of bump stocks that can transform semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic killing machines, the continuation and augmentation of the pressure might actually get them to take the necessary steps to ban assault weapons entirely, like the country did during the Clinton administration.
Consumers have power in their wallets. Now if we can only convince them to utilize that power in the cause of gun reform.