Parkland Shooting Survivor Cameron Kasky
Yeah. Joining me today is an activist and advocate who co-founded the student led gun control advocacy group. Never again, MST. He also helped organize the March for our lives. Mation wide student protests earlier this year Cameron Caskey. Welcome to the Rubin report for having me. I'm really happy that you're here for many reasons mostly because you strike me suddenly as someone that's trying to find some common ground these days, and we're going to get into that and a whole bunch more. But of course, I have to mention top. You are survivor of the park when shooting in Florida. Before we go all into that and everything that you've been through since just tell me a little bit about life before because I assume you have a life before and now a new life. Well, you know, I spent most of my life as your typical little shit Stor who just said, whatever you wanted to voice. I was always so convinced that I was right about everything whether that was nature nurture is kind of up to interpretation, but I really grew up just dead set on the fact that I, I knew everything. Everything I said was right, and I was genius. I learned the hard way recently little to recently that I'm not. And that was a crazy awakening learning that you don't know everything. The entire world is actually an interesting experience, but one of the things that helped me a lot was doing theater. I was a big theater kid because I, this voice, I always wanted to express myself. I was I was flipping loud all the time and I didn't know what to do with it. You know, I was knocking doors for. KOMO and seven. Wow. Yeah, I was really interested in, you know, being active with all that. I mean, I knew nothing. I thought that John McCain was running with Tina Fey, not Sarah Palin really only seen the news and I guess I got mixed up seven. I didn't expect myself to be a policy expert, but you know, again, I think the point is I was always really excited to speak, and I got involved drama and drama said, hey, you have a voice, here's way to use it and you learn a lot of lessons from doing. Have you ever done anything Steve school? Not in high school. I did spend twelve years doing stand up comedy in New York City, which is a whole other nightmare. But I I was wanted to stand up and then I tried it once when I was seven years old. I was on a cruise, my family, and there was a kind of dolts only nightclub. It wasn't really the, you're able to get if you're younger, but I was the only person they're under maybe forty and they had an open mic and I kept on. I kept on raising my hand to get on the host. Saying, no. Was doing in finally caved in. All right, let's get up here and and walk up there and drop a three minute routine. I make a joke about my dad's penis, which was an interesting experience. And the thing is I did not know that while I was sitting alone in the front row, I snuck out of my room. My parents went to the club and I didn't see them while so I'm I'm out there also send you the clip privately. I'm not there. Four foot three and everybody's drunk. So they think I'm a riot. So I think I'm right, and I just kept going and going to the point where. The guy who's running the open, Mike was just looming behind me waiting for me to be done, but I guess he just didn't want to grab the mic from a small child without looking kind of weird stand up is probably best on once at seven years old and never again, you're doing everybody's had their fifteen minutes of fame when they were seven on cruise. Yeah. All right. So so you were a theater kid. Anything else we should know about? Just like high school life, like high school life for a kid in twenty seventeen twenty eighteen what's it like. I'm not that old, but I ain't seen anymore. Well, I high school is really fun for me. I really enjoyed it on a social level. I was a shitty student. My test scores were always good, but my grades were all because I never bothered to do homework. I thought I was too smart and cool for that. But I liked high school a lot because I, I never really subscribe to one social circle. I kind of hung out with a lot of people. You know, kids who were stereotypical popular kids. I was just the guy that was funny out, hang out with them. Sometimes kids who were the stereotypical nerd. We would talk about movies and comic books which I want to get into your conduct collection. And I say that my core corporate was the heater kids. I love my friends from drama, and it's really fun. Having a group of friends where you'll you'll be hanging on the weekend, shooting the shed, and then you'll get to school and either be falling in love with each other and making out on stage or killing each other on stage. You know, we just did fiddler on the roof and I got to marry one of my best friends. I'm sure you're familiar. Yeah. Yeah, I am familiar with alerts is a classic. Yeah. So all right. So it sounds like a pretty normal childhood been so far? I don't think someone like me created by normal childhood, but it was great childhood. I'm very happy. My parents divorced and I was ten and I'm lucky enough to have four. Great parents. I've got two brothers and stepsister a great group when I'd like to think that I'm pretty moral guy. And when I'm the shitty person in a family, it's a great family. So you have a stand up comic and you can see it doesn't come out anytime soon. All right. So now bring me to that day earlier this year. So on February fourteenth, there was a, it was a regular day. It was actually a really nice day, and there was a period of time during the day that I always remember where I thought these little too well. I was sitting reading, John Walsh's, book tears of rage. I believe if millier I don't remember the title exactly, but I I was a big fan and I was planning out Valentine's Day gift for girl that I really liked. She had a, she had an industrial that day and she was she was on a lot of medicine, and I was going to give her cousins and gifts for her and have her bring it to her. And I need her a card that said, I would've brought you this myself, but I didn't have the stomach for it. Com. Picture of her doctor and put it in the car and everything. And then I'm, we're gonna hersal for music. We're doing Vikings, which I'm sure nobody's ever heard of. I don't know it and I was, we just finished up a song I was doing, and I realized, wait a second. I have to go pick up my brother because that's still Douglas school that's out at two forty, but the special needs kids are out at ten. So the parents can pick them up before the buses come. And my little brother has autism, and he's hanging out there with all of his friends and the ESE class. And by the way, the autistic sceni- dome Douglas. Awesome. Those kids are the best and the school specialize in that is like a magnet school for, no, but it has a great program with great teachers, and I actually went back to parkland this weekend to see them off to homecoming and boy. Let me tell you that squad as wild and my little brother. I don't wanna brag is kind of the ringleader over there, and I went to pick him up because on days like that when my mom was at work, I would take him to drama and he would just hang. Out and he really loved it because all the girls would give them attention. And you know, he's he's a bit of a cocky little bastard and and I realized that it's maybe to twenty, let's say, and we're halfway through the song and I say, I forgot to pick up hold. So we finished the song is my teacher Vicha go run, pick him up. Of course. She said yes, and I'm picking up holding. And suddenly there's a fire alarm and I and that was a little scary because we were close to pick up and I was with a special needs kids. Some of them were in wheelchairs some of whom were not we're, you know, a little physically disabled, and we had to go to the parking lot where the buses would come. And I said, oh, no, what if this would is real fire? And I have to sit out here and make sure that nobody gets it by bus. There were teachers there, of course, but you know, it's public school there. Maybe two teachers for ten fifteen students who need a lot of help her so route they're sending in the parking lot. And there were students out there from other classes nearby who, because, again, this is a fire drill. There are students out there who were with us and it was the ESE class. It was a couple of nearby classes. And one of the kids jokingly said shooter, I said, to shut the fuck up, that's not cool. 'cause how could that ever happen? Right. And suddenly I see everybody running back inside and teacher says, get inside, get inside, and I said, okay, it wasn't a real fire and they want to get all the kids inside before the buses come. And then we're told to root and we're told to hide, get away from the window and turn the lights off. And I say, okay, someone's going on. And that experience was was an interesting one because I was in the leadership room with a lot of the leadership students, which is a class that specializes in leadership, and they plan prom and everything sort of student government and also the special needs kids because it was the nearest room and some of the students being nonverbal does not mean you can't make noise. And some of the students were yelling and wailing fortunately, they had shadows and the special seizures that Douglas are. Tastic we're able to keep everybody calm, but we didn't know what was going on and we were there for a couple of hours and slowly more details began to emerge. Now you're hearing gunfire and no, no Douglas is a huge school, and I wasn't now mind you. I thought I heard gunfire, but when you're being told your school's getting shot up and you hear anything think it's gunfire, but I'm sitting there holding my little brother has no idea what's going on and and slowly I realized, okay, there's a shooting I heard and people were whispering around the room. It was maybe twenty kids in the room. People saying fifty, people are dead. Two people are dead. One person is dead. There were conflicting stories. I heard conflicting stories of who was who the shooter was. I heard five different names. One of whom was somebody I knew somebody I knew would not pick up a weapon to harm butterfly because that's hysteria and that's natural. I understand it. Then I saw something that was a terrible exhibit of humanity. If you ask me, which was there was a Snapchat video going around that was that with the caption, yo with multiple os, my school getting shot up and it was a video of dead teacher. Look if you're going to film a shooting from inside a room, so you can have evidence to show the police good on you if you're gonna fill my shooting in a room and say, yo my school, getting shot up and send it to everybody. You know, that's pretty awful. When you're sitting there in a room, not knowing what's going on and you see videos of people, you know, and love deceased and the and the only video was somebody who had I cared about for many years. He was a mentor my life. You start to realize that nothing is ever going to be the same again. So let's pause because that we shouldn't gloss over that part where the social media component of this is so important because you guys all grew up on this and then you grow up hearing about school shootings all the time. And I, I don't know who this kid is. It doesn't matter. I'm sure periods perfectly fine person or or she put. It's like, you know, doing that. It's like it. Just it almost feels like, oh, that's the normal thing to do. There's a shooting like. Snapchat. Several people I knew were just treating it like it was normal. I mean, not the shooting, but the fact that there was a video and I understand some people might like to not like, but you know, understand having to see that because they need to understand what's going on. But I saw I said. How could you do that? This is somebody who is deceased and you're filming them to show to send to all your friends and that's reflection of the social media era were in where everything that's going on. You gotta show everyone. So for how long were you actually in that room? Not knowing if you were going to be okay, not knowing what was happening. I think it was about two hours. I can look at interviews I did days after and have a much better gauge forget, but I would call it around two hours. And you know, with the swat team broke the door down, there was the big issue that there are students who are developmentally disabled in here who might not be able to put their hands up. And fortunately, one of the only good things you'll see from Broward handling of the shooting was the swat team was very understanding and was very quick to help these students which was good. But when that glass broke in, the first thing that walked into a room was a was a rifle. How are we supposed to know that that wasn't your taken our turn, but an i. everybody was texting their parents. Everybody the phone lines were jammed because everybody in parkland was making a call. I mean it was parkland. It was a city with a hundred even how many people, but it. It's small town where there's one high school one high. One high school is around one high school. And we, I mean, nobody should be a quick for this, but we weren't. Yeah. Had you guys been taught at all like are they teaching in high school? Like what to do if this actually does happen? If sugar shack comes to school, we had the discussion of having a code red drill. We had long discussions about dealing with shooter, but we had never participated in code red drill at least not while I was at school. I used to skip school a lot. Tell me a little bit more about the makeup of parkland, because you mentioned something interesting. That's kind of like a little liberal area pretty liberal area. It's not, you know, homogeneous when it comes to being liberal. You know, there's a lot of different perspectives, but the majority of people in parkland are liberal and and pretty classic liberal. And, and that's why you'll see a lot of the activism to come out of someone Douglas was less, you know, let's let's. I don't know I, it was very gun control related. Yeah. So let's we'll get to that in a little bit because obviously so much has happened in the spotlight that has been put on you guys and everything else, and several of you have stepped into it. And I think there's there's probably good parts of that in bad parts of that. I think that's probably why you're here right now. Short. Yeah. Okay. So it ends how it you know, they tell you, all right. You can walk out of this room. I mean, sure. I can't imagine this ran. We ran with her hands up. We sat outside forbid, I was able to go on a city bus with my little brothers class to the Marriott, which is the only hotel and parkland. And so they weren't letting parents come no to where coming to pick us up at the hotel. But there are a lot of different ways. Students got out of the school, a lot of different places. They went some kids, I know just ran which misunderstand -able. Normally when there's a mass shooting nearby you run and my. We're at the Marriott hotel, and our father picked us up, took us over an hour to get home because as I'm sure you can understand the streets were very jammed after the shooting parkland was a no-man's-land. The this wasn't Mad Max anarchy. Everybody was wearing leather spikes, but it was a no-man's-land there was it was as if time and space had been suspended, the rules of physics and matter didn't really exist. It was eerie. It was seven, two days, at least for me, that was when that period of release surreal. Fear existed that that nothing felt real. And the the news was there. There was, you know, the most Bhagat was somebody the Sun-Sentinel talking about our production of fiddler on the roof. The did you in that period, and I'm sure it's very hard to even remember it clearly. Did you have a real chance to mourn to figure out what happened? I don't know. You can maybe let me know how close you were to maybe some of the students because it seems like, and I think this was part of the problem with the way we deal with these things is that we go from the incident to immediately, especially on social media, just attacking each other and destroying each other. Then you guys all get thrust into the spotlight, and it's like, oh, this would be hard on on an adult, you know impossibly hard. Meanwhile, you have these kids who are now out there talking about these things. These kids need to mourn need to figure out what's going on with life and find some reality indecency. So I think that there's really no formula for recovering for. From a mass shooting, especially when a school. I mean enough of happened that they're starting to develop residents, which is a horrible thing, but there's really nowhere to look. You can I could have hidden away. I could've locked myself in my room for weeks and maybe that would have been the right thing to do. I could have. I didn't know what to do. And my way of coping has always been doing something. I had dealt with some tragic loss this past year, and I had the there were some really dark things that happen to people that I loved. And the way I always handled them was by doing something. I never liked to have a clear head because while I think it's important to process you're paying and deal with it. I also think that the if I, if something like that happens and do nothing, I'm never gonna. Forget myself. I survivor guilt. Why? Why should I have left that day? Yeah, they're fifteen year old girls that were murdered and I made it out. And if I could have pressed a button to trade my life or there's it wouldn't have even been, we'll maybe I should say goodbye to people maybe. I should think about this would've broken my finger, pressing it to heart. So what made me deserve life when other people who did nothing wrong, if people more innocent more kind than I am, didn't get to make it out. And I realized while I'm alive and one of my mentors wasn't Skopje goal. One of the nicest guys I've ever met, he's the reason that I'm a snarky little asshole. I develop that from him. He didn't make it out there and t- somebody who changed young people's lives by making them better and making them more proud of themselves. So. So what makes me what has me deserving of this? I'm not a very religious spiritual person. So I, I didn't think there was some great plan that got me out of school, but I think that I had a responsibility at responsibility to do right by the people we lost and to do what I thought would make the world better place while they can't. Because there were marriages that didn't happen. There were people who have had children and. And. The didn't get. I don't know. It's it's a horrible thing to think. But at the end of the day lives ended and I still had mine. So I said, after the shooting, what I'm gonna do is something and I, I was a, you know, I've been a big liberal most of my life and I and I've always been advocate for gun control. I was a big debater of other students after the shooting in Las Vegas where I said, nobody needs these. We're an point in our society were advanced enough that nobody needs an assault weapon to take care of themselves. Look at the look at the way these guns are made. We can defend ourselves. Handguns in my father has multiple in the house. He's a reserve police officer. He was Miami shores for a while. I didn't. I instantly said the thing we can do here, stop folks like the shooter at my school from getting these weapons because this is a nineteen year old who if he had spent five minutes psychologist would have been sent to therapist not a gun store? Yeah. Okay. So let's before we get specifically too far down the the gun road. Here, which obviously we're gonna touch on. Okay. You guys are trying to more and you know you're having survivor guilt. All of these things. I'm sure just in in your family, your brother and everything else. Just I can't even imagine then the media because I think this is we have to hit media stuff before we get to the gun. The media then descend. What was that? Like? I mean, I assume everybody and their brother was trying to reach out to all you guys. They were putting you guys on TV. I mean, I probably even that very day. What was that like for you guys. Good for you. I, you know, the whole our whole situation with the media, whether it be anything from CNN to Fox News too. Ellen was a double edge sword because on the one on the one hand, their bodies that are warm and route here on TV. And in retrospect I might have done that differently. I'm not sure. On the other hand, I couldn't let this be like sandy hook, for example, couldn't let this be people coming into film, crying mothers, talking about how bad these guns are leave. I wanted to get out there and say, no. Okay. This, how many of these do we need before we do them that. I don't. I didn't want people to see parkland as a place where everybody was crying and everybody was throwing a pity party. I wanted people to see parkland as a place where terrible tragedy happen, and the city stood up and said, no, we're not going to be like these other places we are going to be a catalyst. I mean before before still Douglas, I would. I would hear the word sandy hook and a room and everybody would get quiet and it would be weird. I couldn't have that be stolen Douglas this place. That was my school. I loved my school. I was a big school spirit, fellow. It was about to become a statistic. It was about to become that one dark thing that somebody will make a joke about or somebody say something bad about or really anything. So I got out there and said, no. And so many people got out there and said, this cannot be another example of everybody knew everybody crying. We're not here to cry. We're here to tell you what we can do to make this a better world. We're there. People swim parents advisors, whoever that were kind of guiding you through. The media part of this because there were so many strange moments where it seemed like like I said, you right before I don't wanna make this about any specific student, especially and I don't wanna throw anyone on the bus. But when we'd see someone like David Hogg who obviously is very public. Now, you know saying things that that didn't quite seem right or talking about laws and all this stuff like going from just surviving to suddenly advocacy with almost no space in between. You know is the general eaters. I think the general idea of going right to advocacy while it might not have been our best call to immediately go to it was these cameras are only here for so long and we couldn't have them leave. There's that double edged sword. Exactly. So do we do? We wait are respectful time and then go out and advocate or will not care and. I think by advocacy, I'm not sure. I think on a moral level I might not, but on a. But generally I think that while everybody was looking, we had to say, let's let's look at what we really want to look at here. These like give these families their space. We're, we're in you guys afraid that you were being looked at as experts only whereas horrific as what happened to you was it doesn't make you an expert either in law or in guns or any of those things like you can very elegantly as we're doing right now. Tell me your story. Tell me what you think all of those things, but especially at the beginning, I'm sure you know, way more now, you don't know everything. Nobody knows everything and they were throwing a bunch of seventeen year olds out there as if they were experts on all these things. And I think that also added to some of the tumbled around everything. Well, at the time it was awesome. Yeah. I mean, I was an expert, I felt I felt phenomenal. I was somebody that everybody was looking to as if I as if I knew everything. And as I said before, that was. What I wanted, and it wasn't a good feeling. I, I'll be also use some things about it felt good. Most of it felt like terrible and you just said it's awesome, and it wasn't a good field probably sums it up. I guess it was awesome to me that I got to the. I spent my whole life watching people talk about laws and watching people talk about politics. And now I got to say this and my word got to be respected. But every time I went out there, I thought there people dead and it's, it's just it's a, it's a moral Quam out here at I'm doing this because I believe in it and I'm doing this because I don't want the world to lose people. Again, nobody deserves to be shot. Nobody at all. Nobody who's a good person deserves to be shot. So. So I, it was. It was difficult for me because on the one hand, it was this amazing feeling of, here's my voice, everybody's listening. Let me tell you what you need to hear. What everybody need to hear was we need to pass on laws. It's been enough if if people did nothing to Columbine, I would have understood because that was supposed to be an anomaly. I'm sure you remember that was a shocker and then still Doug was happening, and it was more of an another, not a, whoa, so so it felt it. It felt great that people were caring, that was the that was what I would say it was the awesome part was that I was afraid everybody would everybody in the country would feel helpless and cry and be done. But it was amazing to see that the country was saying, maybe there's something we can do here. Maybe we can make some change. And the thing that was awful was I was I was going from news hits to two memorial services. Yeah. So you've had a sort of interesting volition about all this and it sort of leads to where we're gonna end, which is what you're doing now, which is. Pretty awesome. All right. You're part of the now you part of the media machine. You guys are trying to figure out what can you do. I assume that's sort of how March for life started. And if I'm not mistaken, it started in your house. Right. Started in my bathroom. As I was coming out of the shower is putting on my Ghostbusters PJ's. It was a slime or it wasn't old school Ghostbusters. Yes, of course. I, we could talk about the new Ghostbusters maybe after this part, how much do you want to get online. I look, I'll tell you this. Everybody in that cast is incredibly talented. I didn't like the movie very much, but there's really nobody who's in it that I think was not is not an incredibly funny person. But anyway, I is and I got a lot of my friends together. Some I called everyone who I knew was intelligent and well-spoken and was willing to put their time degree aside to demand action. Because if you know, I felt like it was some ways public service because people are grieving and we're out here saying, we're gonna put that aside as much as I wanted to cry every day and mind. You really wanted to date a lot. I knew that I had to put that aside. I had to do something, so I got everybody that I knew could do something to mostly my drama friends because I knew that they could speak. We all got together in my house and said, what do we do? We, this whole, this whole country people on both sides our all morning together. How can we get. Everybody on both sides together to do something now mind you that didn't happen. Getting people on both sides didn't really happen. Yeah, it can be a tough one. It's and it is a tough one, and it will always be a tough one, but it's something that needs to be done and. And you know, from from my home, we were sleeping two hours a night. I would go entire days only eating one protein bar, not even realizing we were. So it was such a tornado that we were all. We all kind of forgot what it was like to be a normal person. So you come up with the idea for March for our lives. Now get us to that day and what was it -sposed to be? What were the actual original intentions beyond? Let's not forget about this original intentions where let's get gun control passed and still a big, let's get gun control, passed guy, and. And that's what we wanted to do. We want to say everybody out, you're saying we should do this. Let's get everyone together. Let's let's get a a big March together where people say, I want. I'm coming all the way out here. I'm standing out here today to demand this and and seeing everybody together was amazing. I am getting up on the stage and seeing all those people. I didn't care about the being in front of them. I mean, I was drama kid. I stood in front of people and talk for the past five years, but I saw those people and I said, these people believe in something the these people come from different places. These people are all completely different, but they're all together because they believe in one thing and that was magical. And I don't use the word magical very often. I think it's cliche, but that was magical and it was it was it was amazing to see. But from the beginning of our ad advocacy to the March. It was. It was a lot of personalities together and we were able to make it through the pain. We felt together. I mean, so often people said will, why are you guys, you know your school outshot up month ago. Your school got shot up three weeks ago. Why are you smiling? And I said, well, I, at least for my own personal perspective, the teacher that I was dear friends with that I lost Scotland, wanted to cry. Scott would want me to do something. Scott would want me to do what I believed in. He wasn't a very political guy. He after the shooting, he probably wouldn't have focused on any politics. He would have focused on getting everybody at Douglas, feel better to laugh this mile. But if I believed in something and I wanted to advocate for it, I knew that if he were here, he'd say, we'll go do it. So the time I spent, I was sitting at his Morial and I was crying in my I was it was in the dirt. I was so snotty tried to white my face and dirty hands and I, it was what many would consider the little point in a movie when Verson feels like they've lost everything. And then I thought about an and if Scott Yoda behind me as a ghost which is to talk about, actually, I used to talk about iota aing if he yoed behind me and he would say, Cameron do something, you must. He used to talk to me and iota voice a lot and not go. We were gonna get your Yoda impression. They're stop somebody on that logo. No, there were points where Scott was my teacher in fifth grade. He, he iota voiced me while I was asking him a genuine question which frustrated me a lot, and it's time I do a three hour interview on hen, but he would've said, do something so so when we were all smiling together when we were all laughing together, it was because I knew that somebody that I love would've. Me to and we had each other. That's the thing. If I, if I was became for gun control alone wouldn't have worked not only because I couldn't have done it alone. I'm not good enough to do it alone, but also because we were each other's lifeline when I was when when everything seemed awful and everything seemed like the world was this dark terrible place. I had my friends around me to say, we got here for you. We've got this together and I was, you know, some people shoulder many people in my shoulder. I'm more emotional than many a theater student. So more people had to help me that I need to help them and Fuso. So beyond the emotional part and getting everybody together. And as you said, you're still going control advocate and all that I sense that part of what happened around March for our lives was you saw things getting bizarrely political or or more than we, perhaps you or you guys wanted is effort say, I think what March for our lives. Should have you. It's a political issue. I think the way it should have come off and I think this is what everybody I worked with believes I know for a fact is that where kids wanna get shot. That's what we are. At the end of the day. We are kids who are out here saying, we don't wanna die and back then I thought that if you didn't believe in my gun control, believe student care of kids died. I learned that that's not the case, but that's a pretty interesting of Lucien for someone at seventeen to have with him. You know, five or six months. I spoke to people who disagree with me. I learned that they want the country to be a better place. You know that we might not agree on how we might think. I might think that their use our horse shit, but every we all agree on, basically ninety percent of things. And I'm sure there are plenty of political things. You and I will disagree on. But at the end of the day, Tom mcfarland's one of the most gifted Spiderman writers do agree on that ever do anything DC. I'm more of a marvel guy, but I, I had a pretty good Batman collection for night wings. My favorite soup off. Your familiar. I think I think in comic books, they're very afraid to make real change night wing actually was able to make it through that. You know, if if a Robin became his own superhero, normally that would only be for tennis shoes and then you go back, but night actually made that jump. I encourage you all to read. We can focus on McFarland Spiderman from two ninety eight to three thirty five. That idea venom is brilliant, and I saw the trailer for the movie. We'll talk about that off camera. It sounds good, Tom, hardy, gifted, so so the way the way people should have seen us in the way I failed really in the messaging because I was so deeply involved with it was we just don't wanna get killed and quickly because of the perfect storm of everything. It became. Left. Right? And I don't think anybody my group wanted that. I don't think anybody my group launched that at all, but it's in one way the media's the media's portrayal in one way, my personal inability to express correctly and another way my air against because I was pretty Harrogate I, I mean that in. I mean that from the bottom, my heart. I mean, everybody else I worked with much lives was a a kid who wanted to help the world, but I was a cocky little son of a bitch and that and not translated a lot because I said, I'm right. That's the thing, right. Everything I say about gun control is completely right. So so what? Why don't why aren't you listening to me? Because I'm obviously in the right here, I everybody else again was was basically saying, I don't wanna die. Here's how I think it worked. But I said, I'm right politically. This is my political movement. Listen to my politics. That's my fault. That's okay. I don't blame myself. I was a kid who lost friends, and I thought that this is what we needed and I still do, but my big error, my what's the, what's the word from a tragic your, that's their flaw. Marsha hubris will. This is your hubris. Let's call it the hubris. Again, I didn't take AP Lang or AP. I can tell you I've ever tragic heroes. I love tragic heroes, but my hubris was an again, I could be interpreting this wrong. I just thought I was right. I thought that anybody who didn't agree with me because I was so right wanted kids today. One percent of the? No. I wouldn't say that my guess is that three percent of the country doesn't care when kids die three percent just as my kid or, you know, it's not where I am, but the rest of the country doesn't want kids to die. And you know. I learned about that that family in Texas, where the mom and the dad, both carry weapons because they want to protect their family. I learned about the people in. Everywhere who who want to protect their families. I've done in my house and while I believe in an assault weapons ban or at least much more restrictive laws, if you want to hurt my brother and I have a gun, you're in trouble. So when you see someone like David hogging I'm only mentioning because he's been so vocal a, you know, I try to talk about ideas and not people, but when you see someone like him tweeting all of these things. But you know, I don't want to get an exact quote crossed up here, but to the in effect, if you don't agree with me, you want dead. Kids. Republicans want kids, Marco Rubio doesn't want to save anybody. All of these things you now realize. That's just not the way to do that. It's not true and it's not. It's not actually affected the reason I criticize myself and not my friends because I know David, David is a dear friend of mine of known him for a couple years, but I've only known them really well since the shooting glass with him once it was nice guy, everything David does, and I know we're not talking specifics, but I'll just use. As an example, because much like everybody else in March for our lives. Everything David does. He does because he wants the country to be a better place. He and I don't always see perfectly eye to eye on what exactly do. But every time I see something he tweets that I don't like and I think about it and I say, I spend hours of David. I've known him. I know him so incredibly well because we have to start tragic, terrible bond that was really created after the worst case scenario. But when David says something that I don't agree with you saying it because he doesn't want another kid too. So you know, messaging with everybody in the group is occasionally not really insane. We agree. We disagree on things sometimes, but if I thought that people in March for our lives like David or anyone was in this for the wrong reasons of being, I would call them out. I don't think that's the case. Yeah. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paper, good intentions, and I don't want to Smerch his intentions. I believe you that his intentions are pure. Of course, I believe that Dave is a guy who cares so deeply about the world around him and we'll do whatever it takes to make it a better place. But it's funny that you say the road Tyler's payments, good intentions because our summer tour where we went around, advocating for more voter, registration, and more accessible voting around the country was called road to change. And there was a counter protester one of our events that said more like the road to hell. I said, hey, that's not very nice. This Ruben report interview is brought to you by express BP PIN with all the recent news about online security breaches. It's hard not to worry about where my dad goes making an online purchase or simply accessing your Email, could put your private information at risk. You're being tracked online by social media sites, marketing companies, and your mobile or internet provider. Not only can they record your browsing history, but they often sell it to other corporations who want to profit from your information. That's why decided to take back my privacy using express VPN both my crew and I travel often. I'm probably traveling on the road right now. And we're always connecting to public WI fi on the go, putting our information at risk where no stranger to hackers from stolen. 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VPN service by tech radar and comes with a thirty day money back guarantee, protect your online activity today and find out how you can get three months free at express, VPN dot com slash Reuben. That's e. x. p. r. e. s. s. VPN dot com. Slash Ruben for three months free with a one year package, visit express VPN dot com. Slash Ruben to learn more and now back to the interview. Okay. So after the March during the March before the March of this thing is just becoming more and more political, as you said, you guys are getting up there and you want to sort of have your moment, but they're certain issues. You don't understand. We're politicians reaching out to you. I know that you know, Kyle cashew is talked to Marco Rubio a couple of times. I mean, how? How deep did this go in terms of reaching every part of American society? Sure. We, we reached onto a lot of people in a lot of people each that to us. There were a lot of conservatives that we, we were speaking to. The issue. I have a couple of friends who went to gun groups to talk about it, sat down with some very big gun advocates in their areas, not really in the country, but notable where they were to talk about the issue and. I know that the rest of my group was really interested in opening up and talking about this. Again. I was shooting one in March for our lives. I wanted to start some shit. You know, I wanted to cause trouble. I wanted to make. I wanted to own the conservatives the same way. A lot of conservatives want to own the libs. I mean, that's what it's about right now. People people play games where they're trying to one up each other. And you know, I just I was trying to do that. I was trying to make politicians. I didn't like look bad as opposed to say, what can we do when I went up there and I was, we're folks or anyone saying, you know, maybe ease up on Twitter or like, you know, just just because you're gonna get no matter what even if everything you said was factually right and came from the right place and all that. Just the amount of hate you're gonna get while you're still young person warning so cannot be fun. My mom is her sole existence in the world is to make everybody in the world, happy and love each other. So she said to be be nice and loving my dad who. Who is a bit of a political advocate himself agrees with me on a lot of things. Sometimes you would tell me to ease up. Sometimes he would tell me to, you know, be a little bit rougher, but he also said, and this is why. I think my parenting from my mom, stepdad step mom was so great was they said, do what you think is right? And don't let people put their hoax. And I did I let I let people manipulate me bid because I thought that they were kindred spirits. But you know, my parent, I'm lucky enough to have parents who say, believe what you believe. If my, you know, my parents are all liberal, but if I came home and said, I'm if I came home with the Trump twenty twenty hat which I do not expect to do unless some drastic change happens in my life. Yeah, although I know you're not thrilled with the Democrats at the moment. I'm gonna throw Democrats moment, but I'm not the Democrats the moment because they're not being good Democrats because they're Democrats, but we'll get to that. I if I came home and I told my parents that I would vote for the opposite of what they would vote for, they would say. If you're doing it because you think it's right, you're going to do it and I'm very grateful for that. Yeah. So where do you stand on gun control? Generally because I think what happened was they at the event at March for our lives. There were a lot of people getting up there and they were saying things that implied. And I think this is the way a lot of people on the right took it. It's not about sensible gun control. This is ultimately about taking away all the guns. And that of course, is the fear of most of the people on the right and there were a couple of the students. There was one young girl. I, I don't remember who said we're going to start with bump stocks, but we're coming for all the guns or something to that effect and that that feeds right into the people on the right who go. All right. Well, now we're not gonna talk negotiates who like better laws. You guys are Mao Zedong. Exactly. And then because of that, then the people on the left and you guys go. All right. See now they don't wanna talk at all. So we're not gonna talk, and then you end up sort of exactly where we're at the moment. It's and. Somebody told me this the other day, it's a brilliant point the left and the right attack each other's worst arguments, and that does nothing for us. But when it comes to my personal stance on guns, there's some. There are some differing opinions amongst my friends, March for our lives, but we all we all agree with some similar things. Personally, I think that as long as people who are responsible can carry concealed firearms, particularly handguns in the country in many situations, the country's a safer place. I also think that there is not a strong vetting process for people to purchase these firearms and a lot of people just get guns and a lot of these people are not the good guy the gun because I think the good guy with the gun argument is just a hasty generalization. I understand it in some ways because I intend to concealed carry when I'm an adult because I intend to have a family and I intend to shoot anybody who tries to kill my family. And I, I assume that even that position right there probably put you on the outs with a lot of a lot of your crew. In sexually, we all respect each other's opinions, somebody in March for lives, and this is nobody in March lives. But if somebody said on eliminate all guns, I'd say, okay, well, let's talk about that. So you know, my friends respect me for for what I think. And I respect them some, it's different. It's it's a difficult thing to respect people disagree with you for those things you find it. You know, guys and girls your age are able to have these conversations without killing each other. That was terrible choice without shirt, but about being each other's throats. I think more than adults are right now. Is that possible? Because that seems to be through with you that you're friends with? A lot of people have different opinions. I think we want to. I think that a lot of people who want to aren't taking the right steps because they're saying yes, we can. We can come to some common ground if you agree with me and there's a, there's a one out there and that's something really interested in because I come from a generation that I believe puts principles morals over money and political victories. And I think that we've actually got a bright future people call me and insane, Bobby Kennedy, moron saying that we have a bright future, but I think we do. I think we need to stigmatize the conversation. I had a lot of friends who who before seven months ago, I would have thought where racist sexist big at homophobes who want the country to explode and want to destroy everybody who isn't exactly. Them, and then I learned maybe that's not the case. And I have a lot of friends who would have thought that I was some leftist beta cut Schill who wanted who wanted communists to take everybody's guns and kill them, and then they learn me. That's not the case. I think our generation really is moving in a good direction when it comes to smart conversations. I just think we need a bit of a social revolution. They're not huge social revolution. I love social revolutions. This isn't a a big revolution. Cool. It Beatles. You don't think we're LA MS level yet. We're not. We're not hearing the people sing the song of Mumin yet, but. We, we need some, we need. We need a a movement towards respecting each other because look before all this, if I could have gotten rid of the right, I would've and I know people who would have gone to the left if they could have, but it's not gonna happen. The parties might evolve over time. I mean, the the parties are flipping a lot of ways. We'll think about this. The party of Lincoln is the only party that currently not the democrat, there's and Democrats who are like this, but the majority of people who are running as admitted white supremacists are part of the party of Lincoln. So a lot of a lot of switches happened there. I mean, you've got some really awful rhetoric out there from folks. Candice Owens who will say, we'll talk about the left plantation. Look, I think I'd entity politics are dangerous calling saying that the real racists are the Democrats is a hasty generalization. I think I think there's actually some truth to it. There's a difference between the liberals and the left. Well. You're speaking. The thing is you can't pigeonhole together special the right word for that. Yeah. Okay. You can't hold them together. I'm a liberal, but I think that all men and women are created equal and need to be respected equally. Whereas people farther to the left will say as a as a white, six gender, heterosexual male. I don't have the right to say any of that. Look you a friend of mine, Michael Skolnik who I've worked with before, said something to me that I really appreciate it. Which was you can't judge somebody by the hand. They're dealt. You judge them by how they elect to play that ham people farther to the left will judge you. By the hand, I'm dealt. I grew up in a pretty well off family. I had a pretty easy childhood. I could've walked around my neighborhood without fearing death, which is something that some of my friends I made in Chicago, we're not able to have, but they'll say that my opinion is less valid than anybody's because I don't deal with the struggles they do. I have an incredible amount of empathy for people who are not as privileged Zion. I believe the white privilege exists. I don't believe as systematic or or really structural as people say it is. I don't think the government exists to oppress people, but white privilege I believe exists. I believe that there are certain situations where I will be where I will be in a better place because I'm a white SIS, gender, heterosexual male. Again, it's not this large oppressive force. The people treat it like, but it's something we need to address. And that's, that's the real thing I'm talking about recently which is we can find common ground on these issues and not try to push each other way because in my view. In my view, white privilege exists, and people will say, well, no, because in many situations on the SAT African American students were given points in Asian students were were deducted points, and that proves that that I got myself. Yeah, I don't want to. We don't have to go too far down that road because we could have a whole other conversation on that because I, I actually don't agree with you on that, but, but that's the point of this. That's the point and I'm still learning. You're still learning. It's kind of a beautiful thing. I'm seventeen I can hardly smell expert on shit. That's actually put a new podcast. I'm putting out pretty soon. It's called Cameron knows nothing. Do you watch game of thrones? I do look, you grit told me. And it's true in my own personal views on abortion. I actually, I watched a video of yours. You and I have pretty much the same exact you on the twenty guy, but I also have not taken science classes. I also do not. I've not converse with enough women who have had abortions my opinions, Jack shit, but I'm allowed to have them. You know, it's a seventeen year old boy. So there's only so much. I could truly say about pro-lifers pro choice, but I'll say it and you know, in Cameron knows nothing. I'm gonna tell you guys, I think, but doesn't mean it's right. You know, where do you link that attitude comes from within you? Because I, it seems to me that I think a lot of what's happening right now is icy adults that are now afraid to say what they think. And they think that the mobs gonna come after them, which is completely legit. They think it might hurt their job opportunities or things like that. Yeah, the mob which whichever way it is. Right. I mean, I think but we see boycotts on both sides, and I think a lot of misguided anger off, and but I think most people. Need a little bit more of what you just did there, which is I am what I am. You know, maybe convinced me some other stuff, but I'm trying to learn here. I don't want to hurt anybody. You know, I, I want the government to crack down on guns. That doesn't mean I want the government to oppress you. I believe that there's a certain amount of time somebody should have access to an abortion, and I think that abortion should be more accessible for a certain amount of time, but I don't wanna kill babies and I don't want to oppress women. I want the world to be a better place. You want the world to be a better place. I don't know about about, you know anybody up in the booth, but they seem really nice. They're pretty good. Todd McFarlane. I had selected these people. Exactly. Wants the world better place. David Hogg wants the world to be a better place. Jordan Peterson was the world. We all pretty much all of us do. I'm actually glad you mentioned Jordan Peterson because you know my to him right now. And one of the things that I find is I, if I meet a ton of people your age, I'd say the bulk of the people that are coming. There are young people probably probably right around your age seventeen eighteen into into their probably early thirties and it's male, female, gay, straight, black, white, the whole thing, but it's very obvious to me that he's providing some level of guidance that somehow it seems that your generation kind of missed now sounds like your your folks are pretty great, your extended family and all that, but do you sense that there is some missing piece here that partly I don't know that there's like some. I discussed this last week with Peter Thiel that there was some disconnect between the baby boomers, my parents age, and that that my guys the Jan extra, but we never had our moment or something. And then we've sort of handed it off to you guys, the millennials and. Genetics. I'm Jay z. actually. Wow, are three or four years older than I am. All right. Oh, man. We're all drilling. We handed it off to the generation of people who grew up with with cellphones, immediate access to to knowledge are the best and worst thing to ever happen to us. Yeah. If I want to get to a hospital, I can get to a hospital much easier with cell phone. If I want to look up a fact forgetting the fact that facts are different, right. The facts are difficult to find. You know, I can do it, but also I, I've before all this, I was very, very obsessed with my own image. Not because I thought I had a good one, but because I wanted it to be good. I I was posting things online because I want people to think I had a cool life. I mean, I did. I had a great life, but I wanted people to know that and it it the hyperactivity of social media, which is a term I stole from many Ben plaid interviews talking about his musical. Do you have an Hansen? I don't want him to see this and think I'm stealing hyper connectivity of social media is is, is a good and bad thing. But I think the problem here and I think that you know folks, Jordan, I'm a big fan of Jordan. I'm a big fan of yours. Don't get a big head of people, people like you guys. One of the things that you advocate for is is conversation and people on the right young people on the right that I know and friends with. They want to own the lips. This is all about proven wrong. And saying like, facts, don't care about your feelings. I agree. I faxed by definition, don't care about your feelings, but there's also logic, which is. Is kind of the middle between the two really. And that's the interpretation and the inside and the fact where you know if we, if we only based everything, in fact, which a lot of young people the right, do we're just talking about the past. You can look at the future and you can assess facts, but a lot of a lot of young people on the right one approve people wrong. A lot of young people on the left I've seen want to want to make wanna make people who disagree with them, look worse. It's all about making the other look worse. The right wants to show that the left is a bunch of commies and left wants to show that the rights of fascists and that's a waste of time that is, that is what is harming our country right now. I think Donald Trump's rhetoric is dangerous and harms our country, but Trump is, is the is a symptom of something greater like President. Obama said when he made his return, the meet all of my liberal friends thing Jesus came back, which is, you know, Trump Trump is the result of a country where the people who love Trump are loving more than ever and the people who hate Trump are hated more than ever because we're divided, you know, our. Rhetoric is driving is driving everybody in different directions. That's why you see the rise of democratic socialism. And that's why you see the rise of more and more people coming out and saying, things that are stupid because they have the first men, right? Do it look if you say something? I don't like I will defend it with my life. I will defend with my life. You right to say it, but people are mixing being not PC and being a jerk. And and right now we're driving apart, we need to come together, stop attacking. Each other. Both sides are equally as guilty. Certain sides in certain situations are obviously guiltier. But yeah. It's it's, it's bullshit. Do you sense a little more flexibility on the ability to talk to people on the right then on the left. 'cause you know that that's been a sort of big part of what's going on with me. Like I get invited to go to these conservative things turning USA, and I talk about being gay married and approach ice and against the death penalty, and all of these things that are thought of as leftist things, but they invite me, we've great time. I take zillion sell fees with the kids after and all that stuff where there doesn't seem to be that flexibility over there. I don't wanna harp on this because I get your greater point, which is we gotta get past the, but I do see something on one side, especially with young people that has become more corroded. I would say than on the others, say, say the left cares too much about people in the right doesn't care enough, and I'll tell you what I mean because they're, they're equally is wrong here, young people on the right will attack you with facts in either positive or negative ways. And they're opening conversation very often, I believe because they wanna prove you wrong. That's what I've seen from I, that's not a fact, it's an opinion, whereas people on the left wants to accommodate for everybody so much that if you say anything negative about anybody that they agree with the jumped to their defense. So opening up the Israel argument, which is an argument that I don't know enough about to form an opinion. I truly do not. But if you are propel, that sounds like pretty much everybody exactly. Being pro-palestine doesn't mean you hate the Jews necessarily and being pro Israel doesn't mean that you hate everybody who you may Palestinians, but I'll talk to people on the right and they'll they'll be happier to talk about it, then people on the left. But the second is say that, you know, Palestine should have land which, again, I don't. I don't have a firm opinion on, they'll say, do what your Jewish, how could you say that? I'll say, because people are people, and then I'll talk to people on the left about it. And I'll say there's a lot of concerns of tear and they'll say, don't you dare call everybody. Everybody who's Palestinian terrorist and on both sides. So yes, I think the right is more open conversation, but I think that more people on the right are trying to you into a cave where they can prove you wrong. I don't wanna be proven right or wrong right now I want to discuss because my opinions on things have changed. My opinions really are not taking one eighty. I have all my opinions, but my opinion on opinions changing. That's that's the most important thing I'd like to highlight here. If I'm I, I used to think that we've talked about this is to think that if you didn't agree with me hate now, I've learned a different thing and I'm not and what I'm advocating for. Now this I'm not asking people to change their perspectives, masking people to stop having your feet so firmly on the ground when your child. Because I'm a child, you know, I can't rent a car. I can't smoke a cigarette, nor do I intend to. But at the end of the day, I can't tell you about, I can't tell you with already economic secretary, I think take any class or finance class, and we need your ready doing better the most experts on CNN I think. People on the left and the right, and you need to realize that facts are facts. Feelings are feelings, logic logic, but the more and more we try to prove each other wrong, the less progress we're gonna make. 'cause I had the mindset that's why stand it. I've had the mindset we're all I wanted to do was just own the conservatives. And I know people who've had the mindset, we're all they want to do his own lips. Yeah, by the way, I know you're not just saying this because Kyle cashew who I've gotten to know, well, who falls off and on the other side of this new, he's now working with turning point and he's, you know, trying to strengthen the second amendment, all sorts of other things. You guys are friend and you guys are still able to talk about these things. And I had originally said, maybe we could get both you guys in here, but we thought this would be a good opportunity to let you do your thing and I'll have Kyle on separately, but you guys are despite your differences, you're able to talk a lot of things. I don't like a lot. Almost everything says, I disagree with some things. He says that I think are inappropriate. I've said some inappropriate stuff. And you know, I understand if you don't agree with me and you wanna come out and speak. I, I'm proud that I was able to speak after the shooting and Kyle did too. So I haven't had a deep understanding of his position. So beyond the podcast, and I'll give you my word that I will do the podcast. Oh, please. Well, you asked me to do it. Can you do my. Yeah, I'm more than happy to do it. We'll make that happen. What? What do you wanna do? Have you have you really been able to think about it at this point? I know it sort of an annoying question to ask a young person. No, I mean, you know, again, tell you a college. I wanna go to. I can't tell you where I wanna be in fifty years, but I can tell you that right now. I wanna dedicate my time to do what I think is the best thing I could do with my platform because I have a large platform for all the worst reasons, and with great platform comes great responsibility vitamin e. exactly uncle Ben said that I believe it wasn't. But when you say Beng on this show, people might be like kindly talking about Benjamin. Parker, and I have a responsibility to do what I think is right. And what I think is right is advocating for what I believe in, but also making sure that the conversation is mended and healed because who better than the people who are about to become adults to try and make sure that our next generation of adults knows how to work together. I mean, you got no and Rubio in Florida. I'll give you great example. Nelson Rubio have passed some great bills together because Nelson Rubio don't see dot, I'd I, but they are able to put their differences aside. They get along and I, I want more of that. Yeah. Well, man, I know a lot of people are worried about the future, but I mean, it's clear to me that your future's bright. And if we can hand it over hand it over to to to people like you will will be all right because this is this everything that I've been trying to do here, I think is summed up in the way that you're trying to go forward with life. It's it's pretty awesome, really inspiring. She then let me ask you something your show. I'm gonna. We're gonna flip and emotion. You are all right. Exactly. Yeah. So sparkle. So. What? What are the qualities you're looking for in a candidate? If you were going to vote for them over President Trump at twenty twenty go, man. You really put me on the spot here. Yeah, this is my look. I've said this before, but it seems to me that the unfortunately the democratic socialist wing of the Democrats has gone really far left. I mean, look, the word socialist is in the in the title now and then. Purge, right? I guess they're being honest for what they are in there fighting for what they believe in. I happen to disagree with virtually all of it, but that they're doing that. They've basically purged what I think are the remaining liberals as you said. Classical liberals before. And I think unfortunately, that leaves a lot of us. It's why people watch my show because I've just been honest about what I see here. That leaves a lot of us suddenly with allies in places that we didn't think we were going to have allies in. It's sort of unfortunate in one way because you want to always think that you can sort of stay home and fix things double. But at the moment I find my allies certainly are libertarians on the right. I think I can be allies in a lot of ways with Ben Shapiro even though we have differences on the margins with the Boertien and some of that other stuff. But I don't see at the moment when from when we're taping this right now, I just don't see any hope in the short term for the Democrats. My hope is that this thing implodes that they get probably have to get crushed in the midterms, which is not looking likely, but that they get crushing. And then they have a major course adjustment where they go. We've got to return to liberalism share, and that is the answer because I believe liberalism is the answer. I think it's the only answer, but if you know somebody that I should be paying attention to let me know because I don't see much keep in touch and. And. We've got a list. I'll send you some liberals. One more thing I know we're about onto. What is your favorite musical and with which musical character you identify the most Van Gogh rather do favorite superhero movie you're saying, but. Go to that. I was telling you during the break that I, I really thought Infinity war was spectacular. I think it was just done right. LOKI has to be dead though. That's, that's the key thing I want, but I think I love Maura. She's she's a bad ass. But if they bring her back which they will bring back, she was killed in the process of getting the sole sewn. So they say that once they destroy the stones or whatever it may be, they could bring her back and it'll be nice to see her back because I love her as an actress. I'll ever chemistry with everyone. Yeah, but that was a power. You can't keep killing people in bringing them back. That's why LOKI has to be did this time which basically made it sound like? Yeah, what Infinity ward did a good job with Tony. He's been in for what like twenty movies and he didn't die Amora. This is our third film. I felt that I felt that that are here to tell you, but she's hate to tell you whatever. She's she's going to be alive putting that. It's already. Musical, you know, I'm not a huge musical guy. I'm not. I know you don't wanna hear that as a theater guy, not a huge Muser girl. I, I liked mama, Mia. See, that's what it's about. Common ground. We talked about marvel movies and all these other. You gave me a lot of pop culture references before we started. You have to, you know, break new ground and that's what I was trying to do here. That's what it's all about. I have no doubt you have a bright future and you're probably going to be president. Is that where this is all leading president of stomach, the drama club? No, because my dear friend she ran and she's doing nominal job that no guys follow Cameron on Twitter. It's Cameron, underscore Caskey.