As a number of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students continue building a coalition of young gun-control advocates, a less vocal group of individuals tied to last month’s deadly shooting in Florida is making a different argument with a similar end goal: safer schools.
“My perspective is that we have to focus first on what we can achieve,” the student told host Martha MacCallum. “That is mental health restrictions and deeper background checks.”
Sharing his belief that those pushing for a more measured response are being drowned out by the voices of fledgling activist groups, Kashuv insisted that “gun control should be a broader discussion that we need to have after we can secure our schools.”
Instead of retreating to ideological corners, he urged those committed to changing America’s gun culture for the better to work on proposals with widespread support.
Some of his schoolmates, he argued, have failed to heed that advice.
Specifically, he responded to MacCallum’s prompt after she aired a clip from a recent broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
Survivor-turned-activist David Hogg shared his account of hanging up on a call from the White House, which Kashuv felt was a “counterproductive” approach.
According to Hogg, an administration representative called him “the day before the listening session” President Donald Trump planned in response to the Parkland shooting to find out if he planned to attend.
“I said I’m not coming because we expect President Trump to come to the CNN town hall,” Hogg said, according to The Daily Caller. “And I ended on this message with them, I said, ‘We don’t need to listen to President Trump. President Trump needs to listen to the screams of the children and the screams of this nation.'”
While the teen’s impassioned remarks received enthusiastic applause from host Bill Maher’s studio audience, Kashuv had a different take.
“You know, I’m really trying to control my anger at what he said,” Kashuv told MacCallum. “Because, you know, the president calls you and then shows he wants to make a change, and you’re talking about bipartisan change and the one man who controls, who leads our nation … comes to you and is like, ‘Look, let’s do something. Let’s make it happen.'”
He continued by accusing Hogg of being “so hypocritical” for hanging up on a possible opportunity to affect the change for which he is advocating.
As lawmakers in his home state announce passage of a bill including several specific gun-related measures, Kashuv said he is “really hopeful” that positive change will result from the tragedy that struck his high school.
“Right now I see a lot of positive legislation is being passed,” he said. “We see that mental health restrictions are getting in place and deeper background checks. And I really think it represents how non-divided our country is and how decisive we can be.”
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