DENVER (CBS4) – A survivor of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida spoke at the 2018 National Western Conservative Summit in Denver on Saturday.
Kyle Kashuv, 17, was one of around 2,000 in attendance over the weekend at the summit, held within the Colorado Convention Center.
Saturday night, attendees showed up to listen to the headliner speech of Dana Loesch, the spokesperson for the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Demonstrators gathered outside of the center to protest the NRA in anticipation of Loesch’s appearance.
“I’m sick of seeing my fellow students get killed in their schools for just trying to get an education,” said Emmy Adams, a student activist fighting for stricter gun control.
Inside the convention center, a sea of red greeted local, state and national leaders advocating for other changes in gun control legislation.
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” Kyle Kashuv told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Kashuv said he wants to see gun-free zones eliminated altogether.
“If you have a gun-free zone, there’s absolutely nothing you can do (in a school shooting)… We should be pushing for policy to allow first responders to be armed. That includes teachers and staff and police officers at every school, who are properly trained,” Kashuv said.
“A year ago, he was just like any other high school teenager. And now, he’s a national spokesperson for one of the most controversial and divisive issues of our time,” said Charlie Kirk, Founder & Executive Director of Turning Point USA, who accompanied Kashuv at the summit.
Young future leaders mingled with and sat alongside congressional candidates like Mark Barrington, Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress District 7.
Barrington said he planned to push for greater mental health awareness in schools and for new policy allowing school staff members to carry guns.
“Let the local school boards decide where they’re going to put (guns),” he said.