Student gun control activists shift focus towards ballot box

The student activists behind a massive march on Washington say they’re just getting started with their push to rein in guns.

“We’re going to be revving up for the election,” Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, who helped launch Saturday’s March for Our Lives, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “This is not the end. This was just the beginning.”

The focus will now shift to the ballot box — getting young people registered to vote and motivating them to turn out to support candidates who will fight for gun control, and oppose those in the pocket of the National Rifle Association, the teens said.

“Moving forward, it’s all about registering to vote, educating others and starting more conversations so more people get politically involved, because again the youth of America needs to step up and start voting,” said Cameron Kasky, another of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, where a gunman killed 17 people last month.

RELATED: Hundreds of thousands attend March for Our Lives in Washington DC

“You see the statistics — it’s an embarrassing turnout,” he said, noting that only one in five voters age 18 to 29 turned out for the last election.

The high school students are pushing for an assault weapons ban and universal background checks — and aren’t impressed with President Trump’s Stop School Violence Act, which bolsters funding for school security.

“The Stop School Violence Act doesn’t even mention the word gun once,” said student Jaclyn Corin. “Obviously school safety is important, but (gun violence) doesn’t just happen in schools, and people need to understand that. It’s a public safety issue, not a school safety issue.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday his fellow Republicans should be held accountable in this year’s midterm elections if they do not act on guns.

“If they do not bring about change, I think people should be held absolutely accountable at the ballot box, and no question about it,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

But that will require sustained pressure, Kasich said.

“They got to keep it up. If they don't keep it up, those that want no change will just sit on their hands. They will never come out and say anything. They will just try to stall, stall, stall until the steam comes out of the kettle,” he said. “And the fact is, if we can keep the pressure on, we're not going to change everything overnight, but you can get significant changes.”