Wounded warrior Derek Weida, who lost a leg while deployed in Iraq, posted a poignant rebuttal to Parkland survivor David Hogg’s gun control campaign on Friday.
As of Saturday afternoon, Weida’s post had over 35,000 reactions and over 14,000 shares.
The post was written from the perspective of Weida “listening to David Hogg speak,” and it began with a direct piece of advice for Hogg: “Watch what you say.”
“I got shot on a house raid in Iraq. My getting shot didn’t make me a professional on war, international relations, house raids (obviously!), or guns,” wrote Weida, adding that despite the “horrible thing” that happened to him — and the feelings he had against the war in Iraq — he “didn’t come home and protest the war.”
Acknowledging that he “signed up to be shot at” as opposed to Parkland students, Waida had a few words to say about gun control.
“It’s not a gun problem, not a people problem, it’s a culture thing,” wrote Waida. “America loves guns. Accept that just like I had to accept that America loves God. Don’t ever be so quick to tell a whoooole lot of people how to live.”
Weida stated that while nobody “wants shootings of any kind,” in a way he’s “with” the anti-gun students. But he added, “It’s not even about the gun. It’s about the freedom and the right… And you can’t win an argument against that, nor should you (In most cases).”
“Yes, let’s find ways to deter those .001% of people as best we can but they’re gonna accomplish their task regardless… Most likely. I guess I just want to say don’t be so quick to talk. Don’t be so quick to think YOU are somehow the ONE person who has things figured out. You want to make a change? Cool!! But… Try to be less of a cunt about it.”
In 2015, Weida was featured in Stars & Stripes for how physical fitness helped pull him out of depression after losing his leg to an insurgent’s bullet in 2007 while deployed to Iraq.