Barnstable County Commissioner Criticizes David Hogg on Twitter
Ron Beaty, a Second Amendment advocate, called the student-activist from Parkland, Florida, a "self-promoting opportunistic rat" online.
Attacking a high-school student is never a good look—particularly if said high-school student is a survivor of a tragic mass shooting, one of the chief architects of a dynamic political movement, and a potent force on social media with the proven power to inspire advertisers to distance themselves from his critics.
Barnstable County Commissioner Ronald Beaty Jr. apparently hasn’t gotten the memo.
Beaty, a Second Amendment advocate considering a 2022 run for lieutenant governor, has taken to Twitter several times to criticize David Hogg, one of the leading student-activists from Parkland, Florida. The commissioner’s posts about Hogg began on March 28, when he retweeted a story about the high-schooler’s college search and wrote, in all caps, “Prediction: This guy will become a drug addict, or worse.”
Several companies—including Boston-based Wayfair, Liberty Mutual, and TripAdvisor—pulled advertising from the Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show after she mocked Hogg for being rejected from some colleges. She since issued an apology and gone on vacation.
But Beaty’s critiques didn’t stop there. He proceeded to ask if Hogg is “a complete and total clown,” and then referred to an 18-year-old who helped mobilize hundreds of thousands of people around the world to march for safer schools and gun reform as “nothing more than a self-promoting opportunistic rat!” The commissioner’s posts continued on Wednesday morning, when Beaty called Hogg “a lost cause” who is “consumed with hate.”
Members of the Barnstable community, including high-school students who organized the March for Our Lives in Hyannis and the Cape Code Grandmothers Against Gun Violence group, criticized Beaty’s comments, according to the Cape Code Times.
In 1991, Beaty was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison after threatening to kill President George H.W. Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy, according to the Boston Globe. He also made waves last summer when he advocated for killing great white sharks that got too close to public beaches.