Despite having endured the horror of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 16-year-old Kyle Kashuv hasn’t pointed fingers at the National Rifle Association. An outspoken conservative who has met with lawmakers on both sides of the political fence, Kashuv doesn’t believe the NRA is to blame despite what a large portion of his classmates think.
“People have been pegging the NRA as a scary boogeyman that truly doesn’t care about the kids … and I don’t think that’s true at all. The NRA represents 5 million-plus American citizens — gun-law-abiding citizens — and simply painting the NRA as the issue here, it kind of detracts from the actual changes that could be made … targeting the proper aspects like mental health reform and making sure that we deliver all the information to the proper agencies referring to background checks.”
Kashuv’s stance hasn’t endeared him to NRA opponents, and he told Fox News that he believes it’s the reason he wasn’t included on the cover of the latest edition of Time Magazine. Five students from the hashtag NeverAgain movement appeared on the cover. All five students oppose the NRA. When asked by Fox News why he thinks he wasn’t included on the cover, Kashuv said he didn’t know why, but it might be because he wasn’t anti-gun. Time was called out on Twitter for not including gun supporters and was asked why. Kashuv responded by saying “because that would make TIME be unbiased.”
Kashuv also alleged that a former aide to the president requested that the teen appear on a panel about guns hosted by Axios.com. He also requested to appear as well, but while David Hogg, one of the founding members of the NeverAgain movement, was included, Kashuv was not. Additionally, CNN canceled an interview with Kashuv, allegedly because the 16-year-old retweeted a tweet that referred to the host of CNN Newsroom, Brooke Baldwin, as a “fake news hypocrite.”
While the teen, who has amassed a Twitter following of over 100,000, supports people’s rights to defend themselves, he does believe there should be a limit on who can own guns, especially when it concerns mental health issues. And the 16-year-old was a strong supporter of the Stop School Violence Act which passed the House with a 490-10 vote.
In addition, the teen is the co-creator of an app called ReachOut, which is a chat app that allows students to get help from student volunteers if they’re having emotional problems or just need someone to talk to. According to the app’s Twitter feed, it is run by volunteers, there are no financial backers, and the app is not a moneymaker.