A survivor of the Florida school shooting has told National Rifle Association supporters attempting to discredit witnesses that they should give up as he and classmates “are going to outlive” them.
David Hogg has emerged as a powerful advocate for gun control after the Valentine’s Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which left 17 people dead.
His campaigning has however earned him a host of detractors, especially among pro-gun allies of the NRA, who have since launched a series of online attacks on teenagers who survived the bloodshed.
The 18-year-old and his classmates have been described as “pawns” who are being “coached” by activists aiming to restrict firearm ownership in the US.
But in an interview with MSNBC’s AM Joy programme on Saturday, Mr Hogg responded to his detractors.
“The right is claiming that you are all being led around by celebrities, by George Soros, by the left,” host Joy-Ann Reid told the teenager, “your response?”
Mr Hogg replied: “I am so sorry to each and every one of you that is out there attacking us as witnesses and even some of the victims of this incident.
“It is truly saddening to see how many of you have lost faith in America because we certainly haven’t and we are never going to.
“You might as well stop now because we are going to outlive you.”
Police captured 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz at the scene of the shooting after a brief manhunt and later charged him with 17 counts of murder.
The teenager allegedly ranted on social media in posts containing statements such as “I want to kill people”, in between sharing photographs of firearms.
The bureau has already admitted it failed to investigate a warning Mr Cruz had the capacity and desire to kill, leading Florida Governor Rick Scott to call for the resignation of FBI director Christopher Wray.
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