Gov. Rick Scott made national headlines for defying the NRA when he signed the Legislature's gun bill into law Friday.
But some survivors of the Parkland school shooting say the Legislature didn't go far enough.
"Gov. Scott is trying to look like he's taking a step in the opposite of the direction of the NRA, but we know that's not really going to happen," Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told Anderson Cooper during a CNN hit early Saturday. "And while seeing these two parties move in the right direction together is a positive thing, it's a baby step."
Kasky, an organizer of the March 24 "March for our Lives" against gun violence, was not alone in his skepticism.
"(Scott and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio) are STILL taking money from the NRA," David Hogg, Kasky's classmate and another vocal supporter of gun control, tweeted the day the bill passed. "The only reason they took action is because we did."
DO NOT FORGET they @marcorubio @FLGovScott #Alizabeth are STILL taking money from the NRA the only reason they took action is because we did. GOOD JOB to everyone that has stood with us since the beginning this is a small step in a huge movement. #onlythebeginning— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 9, 2018
Even student messages praising the bill's passage noted that the legislation should be seen as a first step. Emma González, another vocal Douglas student, retweeted a post that called the bill "not entirely worthless" — hardly effusive praise.
Many of the student supporters of the so-called #NeverAgain movement have been harshly critical of the NRA and its considerable influence on Florida policy. They have called for a state ban on assault weapons like the one used by the Parkland shooter to kill 17 people on Feb. 14. (Recent polling has shown that a healthy majority of Floridians support an assault weapons ban.)
Although it contained no such ban, the bill passed by the Florida Legislature had the support of every one of the 17 Parkland victims' families.
Not every Parkland survivor is pro-gun control. Kyle Kashuv, who has met with just about every major figure in Washington — including President Trump — is focusing his advocacy on school safety and mental health legislation. He's tweeted dozens of times in support of Sen. Marco Rubio's "Stop School Violence Act."
The difference in Kashuv's approach has left him at odds with his classmates at times.
"We appreciate the steps being taken in the right direction, but this is not enough," Kasky tweeted to Kashuv on Monday about Rubio's bill.
I read it... we appreciate the steps being taken in the right direction, but this is not enough. I implore you all to read the #StopSchoolViolenceAct and watch our lawmakers sidestep talking about the real problems. This act does nothing to keep us out of the line of fire. https://t.co/o3dLRQY0c1— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) March 12, 2018
"Cameron, in other words you'd prefer to…not back a bill that can pass in2 hopes of a bill that won't pass?" Kashuv answered.
Cameron, in other words you'd prefer to have not back a bill that can pass in hopes of a bill that won't pass? Also, back the bill. Save immediate lives. And then go back to your other ideas. If this is about saving lives and actually #NeverAgain you'd back this. https://t.co/fVXPfTwrya— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 12, 2018
"Settling for less than we deserve is weak and exactly what the corrupt politicians want," Kasky responded.
Settling for less than we deserve is weak and exactly what the corrupt politicians want.— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) March 12, 2018