Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Review: #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line by David and Lauren Hogg

Put your politics away and read this short book by two of the survivors of the Parkland shooting and organizers for March for Our Lives (All proceeds from the book go to that organization).
The book starts by giving some background on the Hogg's lives. Their story is fairly well-known: they are white middle-class children of an FBI agent and teacher who found in Parkland an excellent school system. As a result, David and Lauren are mature, intelligent children, pretty normal, with the usual teenage introspection and foibles. February 14th changed their lives forever.
I was impressed by their ability to lay out facts and their use of social media. David talks about it here: "we are growing up in a time when technology gives us the confidence to assume that we can do things and figure out the world in ways that it hasn't been figured out before." They are honest enough to talk about the privilege they have, better teachers, equipment, a variety of classes, etc that have enabled them to speak out in a way others from less advantaged backgrounds often can't.
They are not gratuitous in writing about the shooting itself, but there are moments that just grab your heart: Lauren speaking of the four friends she lost or this quote from when her mom took her to counseling, "I nonetheless began to tell my story, which was hard enough, but harder still was sitting in that chair and watching the therapists weeping." The last section of the book is pages and pages listing the many school shooting victims since Columbine.
They lay out a common-sense 10 point strategy that respects both gun owners and the inherent right of people to live. Their parents must be so proud of them all, not just David and Lauren, but all the rest who are working to make a difference. As it says in the book, they are learning to change the world by presuming that they can.