By Carey Wedler
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of Americans attended marches across the country to demand stricter gun control. Numerous survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last month spoke to a massive audience to rally support for more restrictive policies.
Several of these students have made the rounds on mainstream outlets, from the Ellen Show to the cover of TIME magazine, and millions of Americans are supporting their message. Regardless of whether or not we disagree with what they’re advocating, it’s undeniable it’s their right to speak out.
Also this weekend, however, another Stoneman Douglas student offered an alternative point of view in a brief interview with CBS’ Face the Nation that has received far less fanfare from other established media outlets.
Kyle Kashuv, who is apparently more conservative than some of his classmates, told Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan he was not invited to speak at the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. Asked why he came to the nation’s capital, he said:
Well look I’m here for one very simple reason. 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 different point of view, but what really concerned me was that how come I wasn’t invited to speak at the march because as Americans we all have different point of views. And it’s important to represent them all equally.
Brennan then asked:
And your point of view is what? You don’t agree with the agenda that they’re laying out there in terms of restrictions on assault weapons?
“Well, yeah,” Kashuv responded. “I mean I talked to senators and I looked at all the facts and they all point in the same direction [that] a ban on assault weapons will not solve this issue.”
Brennan then brought up high-capacity magazines. “That won’t solve the issue,” he responded. “What we’ve seen is that there are certain things such as having – enforcing the regulation that’s currently in law.”
He then discussed the government’s response, also noting that the marchers failed to address different agencies’ shortcomings:
I mean we’ve seen on so many different levels that the cowards of Broward failed, the FBI failed, Sheriff Scott Israel failed. So many different multilayered levels failed in Parkland and it’s absolutely reprehensible that I didn’t see one single poster yesterday at the march that said F the NRA, sorry. That said F Sheriff Scott Israel.
He further discussed multiple government agencies’ negligence, arguing that giving the authorities more power in light of their incompetence is a mistake:
He was flagged by the FBI. He was flagged so many different times by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. And it’s – 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. 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.
Asked if he agreed with his more highly-publicized classmates, he said, “I agree with them completely that this cannot happen ever again. But I differ with them on what policy needs to be made.”
Instead of gun control, Kashuv wants armed guards at schools (another controversial proposal) and expressed support for Florida’s recently passed marshal program, which will allow police officers and veterans to undergo training specifically for protecting schools.
Kashuv referenced a “good guy with a gun” at the recent school shooting in Maryland — where initial reports indicated a school resource officer was instrumental in taking down the perpetrator — though this week the St. Mary’s County sheriff said the shooter killed himself shortly after the officer confronted him (it’s unclear how the officer’s attempt to stop him brought the incident to a close or factored into the shooter’s decision to take his own life).
Regardless, Kashuv said there is a “silent minority at Stoneman Douglas who agrees” with him and challenged his outspoken classmates, like David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, to debate him in order to “find a common middle ground because that’s the only way that we’re going to protect the American people.”
Kasky initially agreed but withdrew amid a Twitter exchange with Kashuv.
Both students are appealing to different factions of America’s two-party ideological system, yet both are still seeking solutions from the government — and only one of these ideologies is gaining continuous attention from most major outlets. Even if one does not agree with Kashuv’s ideology, his points are undoubtedly worth acknowledging in a national conversation about gun violence and the government’s ability to prevent it.
Kashuv was scheduled to appear on CNN with Brooke Baldwin last week, but the network canceled his interview after he retweeted commentary referring to her as a “fake news hypocrite.” He claimed this was the reason they removed him from the lineup.
But don’t worry, CNN really wants to have the other side on, as long as they’re complicit https://t.co/t95zexPiF8
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 21, 2018
Kashuv has likewise received little attention from other established outlets. Yahoo Finance ran a report on him, and USA Today featured a story about students who support gun rights. Otherwise, his point of view has largely been relegated to Fox News and smaller conservative outlets.