Delaney Tarr and Cameron Kasky were two of the most outspoken survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February. They channelled their grief into activism, demanding a change to end mass shootings. That call to action was personified on Saturday in the March For Our Lives events held in hundreds of cities all over the country.
On Sunday morning, the first question Fox News host Chris Wallace asked the students was what they thought their march accomplished "in practical terms."
Both students pointed to the massive voter registration events at many of the rallies, noting that their generation is inspired to participate in politics for the long run, not just at protests and marches. They noted that the call for gun reform goes well beyond a trendy cause, as people all over the country have lost their loved ones to gun violence, and they're ready for a change.
Wallace then asked the students about the government response to the historic shooting at their school, and Kasky delivered a harsh message to lawmakers. They discussed the federal government's new spending bill, which includes a few measures to tighten background checks, ban bump stock devices and allocate more money to school safety, as well as the new Florida state law that imposes many tougher gun measures.
"The state I will give a very, very crisp C-minus, because there are things in what that they passed that are very important," Kasky said of the new measures. "Raising the age to 21 is something that the majority of the country can get behind. And the three-day waiting period, all of that, these are great steps in the right direction."
"The federal level, I was not impressed at all," he added. "Because it's important to make the schools safer, but this doesn't just happen in schools. Shootings are in night clubs, churches, movie theaters, airports. Yes, it's important to stop school shootings but this does very little to keep the American people out of the line of fire."
"So, what do you want to see?" Wallace asked.
"I want to see an assault weapons ban," Kasky said bluntly. "I want to see high-capacity magazines ban. These are things that — now, I don't just want to see these, these are everybody. The age has to be raised to 21. These are things that are — that are — these are important issues. And the fact that nobody just got — in the bill, they don't say the word gun once."
"What causes all these shootings? What's the one thing that tie everything together? There's no specific mental health problem that makes all these shootings happen, it’s the weapon. The fact that they aren't taking any action towards it is a proof that we need to keep on going."
The students also addressed President Donald Trump's abrupt change of heart after the shooting. Immediately following the massacre, the president proposed a number of tougher gun regulations. A few days later, he had changed his position in favor of arming teachers and doing little to change gun laws.
"What do you think happened?" Wallace asked.
"We know he had a meeting with the NRA after that, and suddenly, he backed down," Kasky said.
"I mean, to call it a coincidence seems like a bit of a stretch because to say all of these incredibly firms stances and then to immediately backpedal on them after having a meeting with the NRA," added Tarr. "And not a long time periods of difference there. It reads sketchy to me."4comments
The students had some tough words for the gun lobbying group as well, calling their publicity tactics "pathetic" and accusing them of capitalizing on peoples' fear.
The nationwide protests have opened up the conversation about gun violence of all kinds, including gang violence in cities like Chicago and the recent murder of Stephon Clark in Sacramento. The students have continued to urge their followers to make their voices heard at the polls in November's mid-term election.