Kyle Kashuv is a Republican student from Parkland that has been speaking out about the tragic shooting at his high school last week. In an interview with The Gateway Pundit on Monday evening, he stated that his right-wing views have led to him being “hated” by his fellow students and labeled an “enemy of the movement.”
The 16-year-old high school junior has been advocating for unemployed veterans to be hired to protect schools. It’s an idea that he believes will help to solve two crises in our nation at once.
“I think it’s a great idea. These veterans are trained and they know what to do. We will both lower veteran unemployment and protect our schools, I think it’s a really good idea,” Kashuv told The Gateway Pundit. “From what I have perceived, the left wants fewer guns in schools, so simply saying that we want armed veterans in schools already scares them. They’re already against it 100%.”
As for the idea of arming teachers, Kashuv believes that nobody should be forced to carry a weapon, but those who want to and are capable should have the option.
“They want to give teachers the opportunity to do so, nobody is trying to force anyone. In some counties there is a 15 minute response time for police, but the shots are usually fired in the first five minutes and the casualties have already happened by the time that they have arrived. There is no defense against a shooter at all for the first 15 minutes in these cases,” he explained.
When asked if he feels as though he has been treated differently than his anti-gun peers by the press or social media platforms, Kashuv explained that he doesn’t believe that the liberal media wants to hear from Republican survivors like himself.
“The press doesn’t necessarily want to hear a Republican perspective — other than Fox News,” Kashuv said. He added that he was not invited to the CNN town-hall event, for example.
.@KyleKashuv, Florida school shooting survivor: "On the @CNN town hall, we had the sheriff who was virtue-signaling against the @NRA and against guns when he didn't even act properly. The armed officer outside… let my classmates die when he stood outside and waited." pic.twitter.com/3ApK6wO3OU
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 25, 2018
Regarding social media, Kashuv explained that he does not want to say that Twitter is biased because he doesn’t know for sure, but he has noticed a discrepancy.
“I mean I have a friend who has 1,000 followers and he’s already verified,” Kashuv explained, adding that “he is liberal.”
Though he is not personally upset that his account has not yet been verified, he said that he understands the political interest in if Twitter will do so.
“I haven’t really been paying attention to verification because to me it is not a big deal — but I understand that it is,” Kashuv stated.
The teenager gave Twitter the benefit of the doubt when it comes to only liberal student voices being prominently featured in their “Moments” section, however, as his account is new and there are very few Republicans speaking out from his school.
“Maybe because my account is so new they’re still processing — I only blew up last night so it’s been quite fast,” Kashuv told GWP. “I also consider myself one of the only Republicans speaking at my school other than Thomas Holgate,” Kashuv said, noting that they are very good friends.
Kashuv skyrocketed from just a few hundred followers to 43,000 overnight, following our initial report on how Twitter had not verified him.
Responding to whether or not he has faced backlash from other students over his views, Kashuv explained that nobody has confronted him personally — but that he has been hearing disheartening things.
“There’s a general consensus that I’ve heard from people that students have started to hate me and that they view me as an ‘enemy of the movement,’” Kashuv said. “It’s all been negative discussion, but as long as it is not actual threats they are just using their First Amendment right.”
Kashuv explained that he still wholeheartedly agrees with stopping mass shootings and making sure that one never happens again. He simply wishes that the movement could put aside the gun control debate and get back to the original bipartisanship.
“I really want the #NeverAgain movement to go back to being a bipartisan group to end school shootings. I want to take away the debate on gun control, because the second gun control is discussed it begins to be argued that proper change won’t be made — at least as far as what needs to be done regarding background checks and mental health screenings,” Kashuv said.
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The 16-year-old repeatedly asserted that he still considers himself part of the #NeverAgain movement even though, as of right now, the key figures are laser focused on gun control.
Kashuv hopes he will one day have an opportunity to speak to someone in the White House about his ideas and concerns.