Parkland student Kyle Kashuv arrived in Washington, DC, on Wednesday for a series of meetings with members of Congress and journalists to voice his opinions on school safety.
His first stop was a Jimmy Johns right outside the White House, where Breitbart News spoke with him about the goals he wants to accomplish while in Washington, DC.
Setting aside his luggage, Kashuv paused when asked if he considers himself a “survivor” of the Parkland High School shooting, even though cable news has seized on the terminology to define his classmates.
“The only people I think can be branded as ‘survivors’ are people in the freshman building — unless you were in the freshman building or people who lost their best friends,” he explains.
But as a student at Parkland, cable news has made his voice relevant in the conversation about guns and school safety, and he appears comfortable using it.
He had some criticism of the response from the “cool club” of students who quickly organized after the shooting and issued dramatic calls for gun control.
“I think they had good intentions in the beginning, but I think it got corrupted,” he said. “It turned into anti-guns, anti-guns, anti-guns. I think the solution is about more than just anti-guns.”
Generally, he is supportive of the #NeverAgain movement and plans to attend the march later this month, but he worries that it has become too narrowly focused on gun control.
Most of the attention he received is a result of Twitter.
After attending the student march in Tallahassee, Florida, he started speaking out on Twitter. That attracted attention from Trump supporters and supporters of the Second Amendment, who started raising his profile. Early attempts to get verified on Twitter failed, but after an exchange with Chelsea Clinton, he finally got the “blue checkmark” verified status.
“I hate Twitter … I think it’s cancerous and a waste of time,” he says wryly, despite his use of the social network to set up meetings with a bi-partisan group of Congressional members.
By the time Breitbart News met with Kashuv, he had plans to meet with Sen. Chris Murphy, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Speaker Paul Ryan. He also plans to meet with officials at the National Rifle Association (NRA)