Imagine that you believe the maximalist pro-gun worldview above. If you hold your ground, you’ll be doing so in the faces of crying children who’ve just seen their friends murdered. If you hold your peace, you might have to suffer through some modest legislative losses. Either way, you have to admit that Emma González, David Hogg, and the other teenagers are people whose views and experiences matter. But if you can convince yourself that they don’t matter at all, then your job is far easier. You need not reconcile yourself either to the necessity of persuasion or compromise.

The mildest form of the Parkland conspiracy theories suggests that David Hogg was “coached” by his retired FBI agent father to say what he did. Even supposing that were true, why that would invalidate his arguments is unclear. But if the purpose is to find a reason to ignore Hogg as a person, they will serve well enough. You no longer have to argue with him. And if Hogg is imagined to have never even been present at the massacre, or to have been replaced by a cunningly-manufactured android built by Jeff Bezos and financed by George Soros, so much the better.