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Parkland Survivor Calls for Stricter Background Checks, ‘Not for Banning Any Type of Gun’

• February 21, 2018 1:26 pm

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A survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., said Tuesday that he and others are not calling for any guns to be banned.

Alfonso Calderon spoke on MSNBC Tuesday evening from Tallahassee, Fla., to address his desire for lawmakers to enact stricter background checks. He said the state legislature’s decision not to take up an assault weapons ban deters him "not at all," and he said he and his fellow students are not even uniformly calling for bans.

"We're not for banning any type of gun," he said. "What we are for is stronger background checks."

Saying he wished lawmakers had talked to them beforehand, he said "we aren't even completely for" an assault weapons ban.

Instead, he said they were all advocating "small steps" to change the state of gun safety.

"To really bring about change, what we really want to talk about are small steps," he said. "The first small step we're taking is talking to Governor Rick Scott today, hopefully, and tomorrow at the Florida Capitol. Another small step we could do is maybe make background checks a little bit stricter."

Calderone emphasized that he wants legislators to take action soon, saying mass shootings have become too prevalent in the United States.

"Since I've been born, there have always been mass shootings in this country, and I feel like being one of the first people in a generation that has to grow up with this sort of just disgusting tragedy," he said. "I'm sick of it frankly."

Others who went up to Tallahassee with Calderone have taken a harder line on guns. Florence Yared, 17, expressly supported the assault weapons ban, and on Wednesday she called for gun bans modeled on countries such as Australia.

Published under: Florida, Gun Control, Guns