The Latest: Students successfully mobilized; focus on voters
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the “March for Our Lives” rallies for tougher gun laws (all times local):
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were gunned down in February, say getting young Americans mobilized and registered to vote will be their focus in the months to come. Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and other Sunday morning news programs, student Cameron Kasky called young voter turnout in recent elections “embarrassing.”
Kasky said: “The youth of America need to step up and start voting.” He appeared on the show with Emma Gonzalez and other student leaders after helping leading a march in Washington, D.C., to call for stricter gun laws.
Later, Kyle Kashuv, another student at the Florida school, appeared separately to voice his support of the 2nd Amendment and to call for enforcement of existing gun laws. He expressed his disappointment that he was not invited to speak at Saturday’s march and placed blame for the deadly shooting at his school on local law enforcement and the FBI.
“This kid was flagged,” Kashuv said of shooter Nikolas Cruz and reports to law enforcement before the shooting that he was a threat.
Students who led a march in Washington against gun violence say they’re unimpressed with legislation that the House passed in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The House bill authorized $500 million over 10 years for grants to improve training and coordination between schools and local law enforcement and help identify signs of potential violence before they occur.
Parkland student Cameron Kasky says the idea behind the bill was to pass something easy and simple that all lawmakers could get behind, “but that’s because it doesn’t do anything.”
Kasky appeared with other Marjory Stoneman Douglas students on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
He says the “Stop School Violence Act” doesn’t do anything to keep students and others outside the line of fire from shooters.
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia says he believes that the student-led rallies for stricter gun laws will make a difference as Congress weighs its response to recent school shootings.
Warner is also indicating he’s had a change of heart after previously voting against a ban on certain high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons.
Warner says in response to those votes that “I think it’s time to change our positions and re-examine them.”
Speaking Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Warner says he’s always been in favor of universal background checks for gun purchases. He adds that it’s time to have a legitimate debate about restrictions on gun magazines and assault weapons.
He says the basic notion is that these “militarized weapons need to be off our streets.”
They came from a place of heartbreak to claim their spot in history: Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and supporters, rallying across the United States for tougher laws to fight gun violence.
The “March for Our Lives” events on Saturday drew massive crowds in cities across the country, marking the largest youth-led protests since the Vietnam War era.
In Washington, D.C., New York City, Denver, Los Angeles and other cities, demonstrators heard from student survivors of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Survivor David Hogg told attendees at the Washington march that the effort wouldn’t stop at the close of the rally, but would be carried on to every election in every state to vote out those who stand in the way of gun control policy.