Politics

‘Trust the Government Even More?’ Parkland Survivor Kyle Kashuv Asks

Pro-Second Amendment student took on his gun control-pushing classmates the day after March for Our Lives, still sought to find common ground

Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv said Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that “we have to hold our government accountable” for its multiple failures that led to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, which claimed 17 lives.

“We need to see that we have to hold our government accountable — we have to, because this can happen again if our government does not do what it’s supposed to do,” Kashuv said. “And I find it ironic that after all this — and we’ve seen so many different government failures — we want to trust the government even more?”

Kashuv appeared on “Face the Nation” the day after many of his pro-gun control Parkland classmates and thousands of other student and adult protesters descended upon Washington, D.C., and other cities for the March for Our Lives protests.

Instead of calling for new gun control measures, Kashuv has met with President Donald Trump and Democratic and Republican senators pushing proposals that focus on school safety measures, enforcing pre-existing regulations, and training qualified armed individuals to protect schools.

Kashuv said that he speaks for the “silent minority” agreeing with him that law-abiding Americans and their Second Amendment rights should not be punished because gunman Nikolas Cruz benefited from systemic failures at state and federal levels. He also argued that “a ban on assault weapons will not solve this issue.”

“What we’ve seen is that there are certain things such as having — enforcing the regulation that’s currently in law,” Kashuv said. “I mean, we’ve seen on so many different levels that the cowards of Broward [County] failed, the FBI failed, Sheriff Scott Israel failed. So many different multi-layered levels failed in Parkland.”

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Kashuv noted that Cruz had been “flagged by the child protective services,” “flagged by the FBI” and “flagged so many different times by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Kashuv also said it’s “absolutely reprehensible” that he didn’t see a single sign or poster at Saturday’s marches that called out the government for these failures.

Related: Here Are the Protesters the Mainstream Media Won’t Ever Show You

He also referred to the armed school resource officer at Great Mills High School in Maryland, who engaged a gunman who had shot two students. Deputy Blaine Gaskill, a county SWAT team member, was hailed as a hero for immediately responding to the shooting. Gaskill’s actions contrasted with those of Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, who waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during Cruz’s shooting spree in Parkland.

“[Gaskill] did his job. And had the cowards of Broward done their job, I think that the count in Parkland would have been much lower,” Kashuv said.

When asked if he had any common ground with his peers, Kashuv said, “I agree with them completely, that this cannot happen ever again. But I differ with them on what policy needs to be made.”

He added, “I don’t want to see this ever happen again. And what I saw at the march yesterday, which really frustrated me, is that I have a differing point of view, but what really concerned me was … how come I wasn’t invited to speak at the march? Because, as Americans, we all have different points of views, and it’s important to represent them all equally.”

“They promised to fight tooth and nail to make sure this won’t ever happen again. But we have to make sure that the laws that we’re enacting don’t hurt America on a national scale,” Kashuv continued. “And that’s why I think that we have to sit down with all members of this issue, OK, sit down with me and [pro-gun control students] David Hogg or Cameron Kasky and debate this and find a common middle ground — because that’s the only way that we’re going to protect the American people.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dxjCokQP9I”

When asked how he responded to Kashuv’s repeated claims that the pro-gun control students wanted to do away with the Second Amendment, Kasky, who helped organized the March for Our Lives event, said on “Fox News Sunday” that “we are not trying to take everybody’s guns away.”

“Well, first of all, we are not just marching to end school violence. We are marching to end violence all over the country, because that’s where it happens,” Kasky said. “Second of all, we are not trying to take everybody’s guns away. My father was a reserve police officer. We have guns in our house. They are responsibly managed and hidden from anyone but him.”

“The point is, we are not trying to take away everybody’s guns away and the [National Rifle Association] wants people to think that,” Kasky continued. “They are fearmongers. They want to sell weapons by exploiting people’s fears. So the second we want to put common-sense resolutions on these assault weapons, the NRA will say they are trying to steal every single one of your guns, and people believe them.”

Related: Pro-Second Amendment Parkland Survivor Says CNN Canceled Interview

Although Kashuv heaped a good chunk of the blame for the Parkland shooting on systemic governmental failures, Kasky did not.

“I want to see an assault weapons ban, I want to see [a] high-capacity magazines ban,” Kasky said. “The [minimum firearm purchasing] age has to be raised to 21. These are things that are … important issues.”

“What causes all these shootings? What’s the one thing that ties everything together? There’s no specific mental health problem that makes all these shootings happen. It’s the weapon,” Kasky continued. “The fact that they aren’t taking any action towards it is a proof that we need to keep on going.”

Kasky said he would give the state of Florida “a very, very crisp C-minus” grade for its response to the shooting. But as for the federal government’s response, “I was not impressed at all, because it’s important to make the schools safer, but this doesn’t just happen in schools. Shootings are in nightclubs, churches, movie theaters, airports.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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