Politics

Meet a Parkland High School Student Who Doesn’t Blame Guns

Junior Kyle Kashuv has been meeting with lawmakers to lobby and talking to media outlets about the critical need for new prevention measures

Students from Parkland, Florida’s Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School who suffered a mass shooting last month have taken turns in the spotlight demanding strict gun control legislation — but they are far from unanimous in that demand.

Meet Parkland junior Kyle Kashuv.

Kashuv (shown above left) said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” on Friday morning that he has been in Washington lobbying lawmakers to embrace legislation to prevent future shootings. Is it about gun control?

“Not at all,” he told host Laura Ingraham. “That’s why I think we’ve seen bipartisan support. Sen. [Chris] Murphy has joined so many dozens — a dozen-plus Democrats have also joined.”

[lz_ndn video=33570042]

The bill Kashuv favors, the Stop School Violence Act sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), would offer federal grants for training law enforcement and school staff in how to spot warning signs of school violence and then intervene. Schools also could apply for funds to install new technology, such as an anonymous alert system and high-tech door locks.

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Beyond technology, funds would pay for crisis intervention teams and programs to promote better cooperation between schools and local law enforcement agencies.

“It’s all about early prevention and educating the public and the students and creating the proper technology to report, and it’s all about prevention,” Kashuv said. “It has nothing to do with arming teachers whatsoever.”

Kashuv said the preferable strategy would be to increase funding for professional security. But a tightly regulated program, he added, along the lines of a bill passed by the Florida legislature to allow teachers to carry weapons, is a reasonable alternative.

“It’s much more important to have armed officers and possibly veterans who are mentally stable,” he said. “If that is my biggest accomplishment to make that happen, it’s much better than arming teachers. However, if the funding dictates that we cannot do that, the next best thing is allowing teachers and schools the opportunity to bring guns into the classroom.”

He added, “Now, let me tell you, it’s not going to be a teacher who doesn’t know how to handle her kindergarten class. It’s gonna be veterans, people who have been [around] guns all of their lives.”

Related: Violence in Video Games: A Hot Topic at the White House

Kashuv chastised his classmates who yelled at Sen. Rubio during a CNN-sponsored town hall meeting and turned down an invitation to participate in a listening session at the White House.

“Well, that’s terrible,” he said. “Anyone given the opportunity to speak to the president, whether or not they agree with him or disagree with his policy, should take the chance. It’s an honor.”

The same goes for fellow classmates who booed and asked disrespectful questions of Rubio, Kashuv said.

“I think Rubio went out of his way to come to the CNN town hall, and how he was treated was abhorrent,” he said.

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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