Kasich praises younger generation's gun-reform activism: 'Bully for them! I love them!'

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a news conference with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the National Press Club in Washington on June 27, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a news conference with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the National Press Club in Washington on June 27, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich commended young Americans for demanding that their elected officials take decisive actions to reduce gun violence in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Kasich, who unsuccessfully campaigned for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday morning that he thinks youths are tired of hearing excuses for the gridlock in Washington on this issue.

“Young people — the millennials, the Gen Xers — are saying, ‘Look, we’ve heard enough. Deliver something. Deliver something. We don’t want all these excuses. Deliver something,’” he said on “State of the Union.”

Kasich, 65, a baby boomer, said younger generations have little patience when someone — even Kasich himself — responds to their pleas for gun reform with long-winded explanations about the complexities of American politics.

Slideshow: Gun control rally in Tallahassee; Parkland students meet with lawmakers >>>

“Frankly, they put it to me every once in a while, and I try to explain to them the politics of why it’s so difficult. They don’t want to hear it. And you know? Good for them! Bully for them! I love them! I love the way that they are saying, ‘Let’s do the art of the impossible rather than the art of the possible.’”

According to Kasich, their idealism may actually succeed in ushering in new gun measures to protect Americans.

“And the more they push, the better chance we have of getting something done — to have greater gun safety and better protection for everybody in our country,” he said.

Before moving on to another subject, Tapper, 48, offered a lighthearted response: “I think on behalf of all members of Generation X, I thank you for calling us young.”

Lital Donner, youth director for Congregation Kol Tikvah, right, comforts Aria Siccone, 14, a ninth-grade student survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)
Lital Donner, youth director for Congregation Kol Tikvah, right, comforts Aria Siccone, 14, a ninth-grade student survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Many survivors of the Parkland school shooting and other teenagers throughout the country have taken an active role in the national debate about increased gun control. These students actually belong to the generation that follows millennials, called Generation Z or the Homeland Generation.

President Trump, a self-described strong believer in the Second Amendment, surprised supporters Wednesday when he suggested guns should be taken away from potentially violent people before going through a court. In other words, confiscation first and due process second.

When asked about Trump’s statement, Kasich said, “That’s not the way we’re going to do it,” adding that he doesn’t think “that’s where this would ultimately pass.” He said a package will only come about if “very strongly pro-gun” people who “think there ought to be limits” are involved in the process.

Slideshow: High school students across the U.S. protest gun violence >>>

On Thursday, Kasich announced a series of proposals, agreed upon by an eight-member bipartisan panel, that are intended to reduce gun violence in Ohio. These include tightening background checks, stopping “strawman” weapon purchases and allowing friends and family members to petition a court to remove guns from anyone who may be a threat to him or herself or others.

Kasich is fairly moderate on gun control. His official website describes him as “a pragmatic conservative” who supports the Second Amendment, and he has signed several “gun-rights” bills but also recognizes the need for “common-sense solutions” and “reasonable reforms” to prevent mass shootings.

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