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Parkland students make the television rounds after massive nationwide gun protests

The student gun control activists appeared on Fox News Sunday and CBS Sunday morning to offer their perspective. A conservative Parkland student also appeared on CBS.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Cameron Kasky and Delaney Tarr appear on Fox News Sunday on March 25 with host Chris Wallace. Credit: Fox News Sunday via Facebook. [Screen grab]
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Cameron Kasky and Delaney Tarr appear on Fox News Sunday on March 25 with host Chris Wallace. Credit: Fox News Sunday via Facebook. [Screen grab]
Published Mar. 25, 2018|Updated Mar. 25, 2018

The March for our Lives rallies drew massive crowds all over the country Saturday. The survivors of the Parkland shooting say their movement is just getting started.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Cameron Kasky and Delaney Tarr appeared on Fox News Sunday and the CBS Face the Nation to talk gun control policy, the weekend's marches and the 2018 midterm elections. Classmates Emma González, Ryan Deitsch and Jacyln Corin joined them on the CBS program.

The students outlined their agenda going into the 2018 midterms, stressing that the #NeverAgain movement would not back specific candidates, but they would support specific gun control policies. Cameron Kasky, a student organizer of Saturday's national marches, said they support an assault weapons ban, a high-capacity magazine ban and universal background checks on gun purchases. (Recent polling has shown that a healthy majority of Floridians support universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.)

"We're going to be revving up for the election," senior Emma González said on CBS. "This is not the end."

Read more: Barack and Michelle Obama in letter to Parkland survivors: 'You've helped awaken the conscience of the nation'

Conservative Douglas student Kyle Kashuv, who has made the rounds in Washington in recent weeks, meeting with President Trump and numerous lawmakers, also appeared on CBS in a separate segment.

Kashuv sharply criticized "government failures" in the run-up to the Parkland shooting. The 16-year-old student referred multiple times to "The cowards of Broward" during his five-minute appearance. (Law enforcement officials, including Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, have come under scrutiny for —among other missteps — their failure to engage with the shooter during the Feb. 14 incident.)

Kashuv also said he disagreed with the policy goals of his classmates. He said he, like his classmates, wants to prevent another shooting like the one at his high school. But Kashuv said he doesn't believe limiting the rights of Americans is the way to accomplish that goal.

"We have to hold our government accountable," Kashuv said. "I find it ironic that after all this, [after] we've seen so many different government failures, we want to trust the government even more."

Kashuv has long championed the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act, which funds school safety and mental health programs.

His classmates say that bill — which passed Congress this past week along with legislation aimed at patching the national background check system — doesn't go far enough.

"The STOP School Violence Act, if you actually read the whole thing, it doesn't really do much. Most of it is already things that have been done," Stoneman Douglas student Ryan Deitsch said on CBS.

Other Parkland students on the CBS panel pointed out that the bill does not feature the word "gun" anywhere in its language. (The law does include the word "firearm" in a section about how none of the bill's funding may be used for firearm training.)

The students advocating for gun control also said they were somewhat encouraged by the recent legislative changes in Florida — but that there is still work to be done on guns.

"It's a public safety issue, not a school safety issue. We need to fight the problem from the core, which is guns," Stoneman Douglas junior Jaclyn Corin said.

Read more: Florida lawmaker's aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

One thing the Kashuv and his classmates appeared to agree on? There is room for compromise and debate when it comes to guns.

"We have to sit down with all members of this issue, OK, sit down with me and David Hogg or Cameron Kasky and debate this and find a common middle ground," Kashuv said.

"We know that this is an issue of compromise and that not necessarily in every state we're going to have a politician who is asking for everything that we're asking for," Stoneman Douglas student Delaney Tarr said. "But we want, more than anything, our voters to make educated votes.

Read more: Passionate protest from hundreds of thousands marks Washington's March for Our Lives


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