Cameron Kasky: How being a student gun control activist took its toll

Cameron Kasky: How being a student gun control activist took its toll

Gun Rights

After surviving the Parkland school massacre in Florida in February 2018 Cameron Kasky helped lead a youth campaign for gun control. But the strain of his experiences – in the school, and in the media spotlight – left him anxious and depressed. A year later, writes the BBC’s Tom Gillett, his focus is on dialogue with his former opponents. On 14 February 2018 a former pupil entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida armed with an AR-15 assault rifle. After six minutes and 20 seconds of carnage, three teachers and 14 of Cameron Kasky’s fellow students lay dead. The geography teacher Scott Biegel, whom Kasky had known well, died protecting his students from gunfire. When the shooting broke out, Kasky had been rushing to pick up his younger brother from a special needs class. Hustled into the nearest classroom, the brothers spent the remainder of the attack hiding in the dark, not knowing if the door would be opened by the shooter or a rescuer. There he stayed in touch with events outside via his mobile phone. "I saw videos, when we were in the room, of people being killed. They were going round Snapchat," he says. "It was very familiar to me. I grew up with these. I was born in 2000 – that was not long at all after Columbine," he says, referring to the Columbine school massacre the previous year, where 12 schoolchildren and a teacher were murdered by two teenage gunmen, who then […]

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