There were plenty of anti-gun student voices to be heard from the dais at the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday.
The one that you probably heard the most was Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez, who Recode says — with all due subtlety — “has become the face of her generation’s anger toward political indecisiveness.”
Gonzalez’s speech began by reading off the names of the victims in the shootings. Then she paused for an extended silence.
“Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds,” she concluded. “The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
That was a particularly harrowing performance, but little attention was actually given to how the shooter could have been neutralized. The message was clear — new gun control legislation, through some mechanism, would have stopped this tragedy.
The way the media covered it, you would have thought Gonzalez and her gun control cohort were the only ones proposing a way to end school violence. As it so happens, there were other students — as well as a father of one of the victims — who had answers of their own. They just weren’t going to be allowed on stage, or in the media spotlight.
In interviews with The Daily Caller, Kyle Kashuv and Andrew Pollack — a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the father of one of the victims, respectively — talked about why making schools safe for students needn’t involve new restrictions on Second Amendment rights.
Pollack was especially critical of deuputies who stayed out of the shooting even though they were armed and could have responded.
“That sheriff(‘s deputy) was at that door at the third minute mark, before this guy went up to the third floor,” Pollack said. “So he told me he could have saved everybody on that sixth floor, not only my daughter but the others.”
Kashuv, a 16-year-old sophomore who hid in a closet for two hours during the shooting, has spoken out previously against how red flags were mishandled by local authorities and the FBI and has said gun control isn’t the issue here.
In the interview, he wonders why the march has featured only students who have spoken out vociferously for a ban on so-called assault weapons and against the National Rifle Association.
“I think the proper question is how come the media isn’t representing people like Andrew Pollack and Ryan Petty (a father who has lobbied for more commonsense changes to gun legislation as opposed to those espoused by the March for Our Lives), who are doing the legislative work that is enacting change like we’ve seen.
Kashuv said that it’s “not being represented because it’s more important to depict David Hogg and his latest opinion on the NRA versus real people who don’t want to see this happen who lost someone very close to them, who — even though they’re Republicans and conservatives — they’ve reached across the aisle, they’re doing the necessary work to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Both Pollack and Petty have worked behind the scenes for legislation that could make it more difficult for mentally ill individuals to obtain firearms — legislation which has been embraced by conservatives in theory but has provoked debate in practice.
Nevertheless, Kashuv says that these are the individuals working for real change, those who the media should be paying their attention to and those who hold the real solution — solutions which don’t infringe upon our Second Amendment rights.
“These are the people who should be blasted across the headlines,” Kashuv said.
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