While Parkland school shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg bragged on national television about hanging up on the White House, fellow survivor and classmate Kyle Kashuv says he'd prefer to bridge the political divide.
Kashuv said Hogg's boast on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" left him feeling dispirited.
“I was disappointed and angry,” Kashuv told Fox News on Friday. “Even if you don’t agree with the president, you should still support the president. What they did was wrong.”
Kashuv, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior, is a strong Second Amendment supporter who has been calling for bipartisan support and so far practicing what he preaches, meeting with legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle – a path that eventually led to the White House. And he’s even created an app to help prevent future school shootings.
Kashuv said the Parkland massacre could’ve been prevented at many different levels -- including the failure of local law enforcement to identify shooter Nikolas Cruz as a threat despite a plethora of calls to authorities; the FBI's failure to intervene despite two tips that Cruz may be a future school shooter; and the alleged failure of some responding officers to enter the school immediately.
Those systemic issues are why Kashuv created an app, ReachOut, and is also supporting a bill from Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called the “Stop School Violence Act.”
“Law abiding citizens are not giving up their guns,” Kashuv said. “We have to be pragmatic here – and work on something that functionally works. [The bill] fortifies and strengthens security systems at school so kids can be reported properly. It increases coordination between local law enforcement and schools.”
Kashuv said he supports the bill because it is preventative – and not reactive.
“I’ve always been outspoken,” he said. “But I saw there wasn’t a conservative Second Amendment supporter being represented.”
Meanwhile, his self-funded preventative app -- designed to allow emotionally struggling or bullied students to get help -- is in the final stages of production.
“If someone was seemingly doing harm to the kids seeking help, we have their student number and their name, and we can report them to the school,” Kashuv said.
While Kashuv plows through a pile of homework in hopes of graduating top of his class, his bipartisan meetings have taken him all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. His parents, who emigrated from Israel in the 1990s and raised Kyle in Parkland, funded the whirlwind trip.
After meeting with Kellyanne Conway and First Lady Melania Trump on Thursday, Kashuv got a surprise meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office, where Trump greeted Kashuv by name.
“That was amazing. It was totally unexpected,” Kashuv told “FOX & Friends."
Kashuv said the first lady was the most amazing person he had ever met. At least until he met her husband.
“She is by far the most caring, maternal, and just amazing person I have met at the time being,” he said. “They’re both amazing...She was so empathetic and caring – she really cares for the youth – and she views bullying and emotional trauma as a major issue.”
Kashuv showed the first lady his app, which she then tweeted about, wishing him success and thanking him for visiting the White House.
“Heartened to see children affected by tragedy using their voices to try and create change,” she wrote. “His message of unity inspires us all!”