Two weeks ago, in a cryptic video, YouTube star Jake Paul announced his plan to put his daily vlog on hiatus, citing his desire to “go and help some people who are in a lot of need.” Now, we know exactly the people Paul was referring to: the survivors of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
During his hiatus, Paul took a trip to Parkland, Florida to speak with survivors of that tragedy, hold a Skype session with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and lay out some ideas for how to reduce gun violence in schools.
Paul’s video, which runs for more than 20 minutes, uses the same serious tone and polished camerawork employed by Jake’s brother Logan in his much-shared suicide prevention video. Regarding the issue of school shootings, the younger Paul brother said he will “be part of the solution and utilize my platform to raise awareness and action across the board.” To that end, he has committed $25,000 to “be a part of this cause.” Among other initiatives, he will use his money to pay for buses that will transport people to the upcoming March For Our Lives in Washington D.C.
The Paul brothers have generated lots of controversy thanks to their repeated antics, and Jake’s latest video has drawn its share of criticism. His five-point plan for stopping school shootings, which includes putting bulletproof glass on windows and bulletproof shields in laptop cases, was called “insane” by The Daily Beast.
Another issue in Paul’s video is that he does little to address the actual issue of gun control, an issue the Stoneman Douglas survivors have rallied behind in the months after the attack at their school. Paul himself seems to be a big fan of firearms, if his video history is any indication. After receiving criticism for that silence, Paul tweeted a list of gun reforms he supports:
Gun Reform changes we need in my opinion.
1. be at least 21 to buy a gun
2. Go through a 6 month minimum course (similar to a drivers license course)
3. Professional Mental Heath evaluation
4. Ban Gun shows now!
5. 30 day wait period after purchase to receive firearm pic.twitter.com/pe7YXgLcR5
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) March 12, 2018
Despite the ridicule Paul’s video has received around the internet, he is right that he controls an influential platform and has the power to make a difference. We’ll see if he continues to push for the reforms he has presented or if his advocacy wanes as he returns to his vlog.