Perhaps he sees it as a way to burnish his right-wing bona fides, but Representative Steve King (R-IA) seems to have made it his mission to attack the student activists fighting for the right to live without the fear of being mowed down by assault rifles in their schools.
King, an ardent NRA supporter and the recipient of nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from the gun lobby organization, has been engaging in a Twitter war with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who have become the most powerful force in the nation for the reform of gun regulations since they were forced to witness their friends, classmates, and teachers being murdered by an AR-15 assault rifle.
One of the reforms that the students have been calling for is a change in the minimum age requirement to buy a gun from 18 to 21. King mocked the call for the change in a tweet yesterday that compared the responsibilities of owning a gun to that of voting.
If you are a teenager & believe you won’t be responsible enough to own a gun until 21, why should you vote before 21?
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 27, 2018
One of the students from MSDHS saw his tweet and fired back with a tweet that should inspire, if not fear, at least some healthy respect from the Iowa congressman.
Jaclyn Corin, a self-described high school girl trying to save the country with her friends, told King how she and the other students around the country plan to deal with politicians like him.
We’re gonna vote you out, Steve. https://t.co/zP4PKDrBOF
— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) March 27, 2018
David Hogg, one of Jaclyn’s classmates who has been amongst the highest profile of the student activists, also replied to Rep. King’s question, accusing him of a divisive agenda.
Maybe because so many of us are gunned down before we even become 21 @SteveKingIA you prove exactly why so many American's are done with politicians like you who only have the goal of dividing America to make us weaker. https://t.co/uInfoCNLlb
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 27, 2018
Hogg also tweeted an inquiry about the representative’s opponent in this year’s midterm elections, likely looking for someone to contact to offer help in organizing to defeat Rep. King and oust him from Congress after King attacked his Cuban-American classmate Emma Gonzalez for wearing a Cuban flag patch on her jacket.
Also who's running against this guy
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 26, 2018
J.D. Scholten is the Iowa Democrat competing for King’s seat in Congress in the midterms, and he criticized his opponent for attacking the traumatized student activists instead of sticking to the business his district needs him to handle.
If you’re the Representative of #IA04 why are you picking fights with teenagers when your district is anxiously awaiting the Farm Bill? Or maybe try to find solutions to the recent Chinese tariffs on pork and soybeans? #Options #DoYourJob https://t.co/p09ick1u38
— J.D. Scholten (@Scholten4Iowa) March 27, 2018
Scholten aligned himself with the students’ cause in a tweet earlier this week that pubically rejected an application for an NRA endorsement.
The ground is shifting under politicians’ feet.
Some like Scholten recognize it and embrace policies that put the safety of students and all citizens at the forefront.
Others, like Rep. King, remained mired in the same kind of tired old thinking that resulted in the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities across the country, a set of policies that benefit gun manufacturers but leave a trail of death in their wake.
Let’s hope that the students are successful in their vow to vote in representation that will push forward their agenda of protecting the lives of students everywhere.