Stoneman Douglas survivors call out Trump for blaming school shootings on video games
Students also explain how NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesch are misrepresenting their movement
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the February 22 edition of MSNBC Live with Katy Tur:
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KATY TUR (HOST): So, John, I'm going to start with you. When you hear that from the president, what is your reaction? What do you think?
JOHN BARNITT (MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT): Well, first off, when he's talking about video games and how it's shaping the youths' minds, we can't go blaming school shootings and mass shootings on a video game. That's just for fun, and to make that comparison through playing a game, through real life action, that's just despicable because the root of the problem is the gun, mental health, stricter background checks. And also, when he's talking about how the NRA, it's not their fault, it truly is because they are the ones that have, that are bringing the donations to our legislators, who are persuading their minds, because obviously money is more valuable to them than children and the youth and citizens of the United States' lives.
TUR: Tanzil, you've been outspoken about the NRA. The NRA was represented yesterday at that town hall that CNN held with [NRA spokesperson]Dana Loesch, and there was also a couple speaking moments this morning at CPAC, with Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesch, where they talked about what the problem is. And they said the problem is not guns. The problem is not law-abiding gun owners. The problem is the media. The problem is Democrats. They're the ones that are trying to take these rights away from you. They're the ones that are making you more unsafe. When you saw that, did you agree with their sentiment? Did you think it was -- what they were saying was right? Or did you have another opinion?
TANZIL PHILIP (MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT): What Dana said this morning was completely incorrect. We do not feel that way at all. Back on what John was saying, is that the NRA and Republican lawmakers want to protect our Second Amendment rights, but I guess they don't care about the First Amendment. Why should we censor our movies and video games? There are countless amounts of video games that show violence in different countries, and they don't have the same -- the difference between them and us is they have stricter gun policies, and that's what we're working towards.
BARNITT: And also, if I could bounce off that idea, with the NRA, we are not taking -- our movement, our ideas, our opinions, we're not -- our idea is not to take away the Second Amendment. We are more than happy for people to hold, have, and carry handguns in their homes. But when we're talking about an AR-15 that's a weapon of mass destruction, military grade, when can you use that? For self-defense? We don't need a 200-round gun shooting through a predator that's in your house.
PHILIP: No 18-year-old should be able to have a gun like that. I understand people want guns for safety, but when would you need a gun that shoots off 200 rounds for safety?