Never Again Founders Say Lawmakers Wanted To Talk About Porn, Not Guns

Photo: RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images

Students are leading the fight for tighter gun control legislation in the aftermath of the horrific Parkland school shooting, which killed 17 people. So far, they've organized a number of marches, including #NeverAgain and March For Our Lives, have inspired some of the nation's top companies to sever ties with the NRA, and have met with lawmakers to discuss meaningful gun control measures.

Though many in the country are applauding their bravery and resilience, activists David Hogg and Cameron Kasky revealed that Florida lawmakers didn't take their demands for tighter gun legislation seriously.

"We met with some of the legislators in Tallahassee, and we felt like we really didn't get far enough because they wouldn't even discuss assault weapons there," Hogg said on Real Time with Bill Maher. "What they did discuss, though, was porn as a public health emergency...Sadly, that's the only [issue] these lawmakers seem to care about."

Let's break this down for a moment. There have been 12 school shootings in the United States so far in 2018, and lawmakers were more interested in talking to actual gun violence survivors about how porn, and not assault weapons, is impacting the state's health. Sure, there's a discussion to be had about how more teens are getting their sex educations from porn instead of from schools (because, funding) and the impact that has on their views on sex and relationships, but that's not what these students wanted to discuss with lawmakers. It's entirely possible for lawmakers to focus on two issues at once and to also know the appropriate time and place for those debates.

"I say they stop looking at that stuff and they actually start looking at our lives," Hogg added.

Thankfully, the demeaning encounter hasn't stopped students like Hogg and Kasky from continuing to demand change from elected officials such as the president of the United States. Hogg admitted that he actually hung up on the White House after they invited him and Kasky to Trump's listening session.

"I said, 'We don't need to listen to President Trump, President Trump needs to listen to the screams of the children and the screams of this nation,'" he said.

Hogg and Kasky aren't unrealistic about how difficult it's going to be to create change on the federal level, though. They know they have a long road of disappointments, meetings, and protests ahead of them, and according to Kasky, they're honored to be the ones fixing problems from generations past.

"To all of the generations before us, we sincerely accept your apology," Kasky said. "We appreciate that you are willing to let us rebuild the world that you fucked up."

Of course, they don't have to be in this battle alone. You can help by marching, writing and calling your representatives, registering to vote, donating to organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety, voting for women who support common sense gun reform, and amplifying teen voices like Emma Gonzalez's.

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