Rick Santorum says kids who support gun control should learn CPR instead

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What?

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suggested Sunday that students concerned with gun violence should learn how to perform CPR, rather than “looking to someone else to solve their problem.”

Santorum appeared on CNN’s State of the Union just one day after the massive March For Our Lives protests, in which more than a million Americans throughout the country turned out in support of gun control. During the panel segment, Santorum―who received an A+ rating from the NRA as a congressman―appeared frustrated by the political pressure being applied by the activist survivors of the Parkland shooting. He suggested that they weren’t doing enough to personally improve their situation, rather than looking to lawmakers for help.

“Is this all about politics, or is it all about keeping our schools safe? Because if it is about keeping our schools safe, then we have to have a much broader discussion than the discussion going on right now,” Santorum said. “How about kids, instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about, maybe, taking CPR classes, or trying to deal with situations that [where] there is a violent shooter, that you can actually respond to that.”

When CNN host Brianna Keilar observed that the student survivors of the Parkland shooting had taken action to solve the problem by organizing a massive public protest and loudly advocating for gun control, Santorum doubled down, suggesting that it’s the responsibility of American children to learn how to react after a shooting, rather than the responsibility of lawmakers to take steps to prevent shootings.

“Yeah, they took action to ask someone to pass a law,” Santorum replied. “They didn’t take to action to say, how do I, as an individual, deal with this problem? How am I gonna do something about stopping bullying in my community? What am I gonna do to actually help respond to a shooter?”

“These are the kinds of things where you can take it internally and say, ‘Here’s how I’m going to deal with this, here’s how I’m gonna help the situation,’ instead of going and protesting and saying, ‘Oh, someone else needs to pass a law to protect me,'” Santorum concluded. His remarks drew immediate pushback from liberal commentator Van Jones, who referenced his own child who’ll soon be headed to high school.

“I’ve got a kid that’s gonna be in high school next year, and I want him focused on algebra and other stuff. If his main way to survive high school is learning CPR so when his friend gets shot, he can―I think we’ve gone too far.”

The shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took place just last month, on Feb. 14. It killed 17 people, including 14 students and three members of the school’s staff.

Chris Tognotti

Chris Tognotti

Chris Tognotti is a frequent contributor for the Daily Dot. He’s a news and current events writer based out of Berkeley, California, and a co-host of the podcast Now We Know. While he specializes in domestic politics and opinion writing, he’s also savvy on sports, video games, and film.