February 20, 2018 1:14 pm

U.S. students pushing for gun control ‘hijacked by left-wing groups’: CNN panelist

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Former U.S. congressman Jack Kingston faced heat from a CNN host Tuesday, over a tweet that undermined students protesting for stronger gun control in the country.

The former Republican politician, who is now a commentator for the news network, tweeted Sunday night that “left-wing gun control activists” are using the students’ emotions to their advantage.

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“O really? “Students” are planning a nationwide rally? Not left wing gun control activists using 17yr kids in the wake of a horrible tragedy?” he wrote.

Students have been holding demonstrations across the country over the last week, following a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead and several others injured.

Many students, including from Stoneman Douglas High School where the shooting occurred, have spoken out online blasting U.S. President Donald Trump for his inaction.

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While appearing on CNN’s New Day program, host Alisyn Camerota asked to explain his tweet.

“I am heartbroken that young people have gone through this, and I hope that it never happens again. But I also know that their sorrow can very easily be hijacked by left-wing groups who have an agenda,” Kingston said in response.

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“Do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?”

Kingston added that “organized groups,” such as George Soros, are the ones pushing students to speak out.

Camerota then interrupted the commentator, saying she had to correct him.

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“I was down there. I talked to these kids before they knew the body count of their friends. No one had talked to them yet, they hadn’t been indoctrinated by some left-wing group. They were motivated from what they saw and what they endured during that ordeal.”

To that, Kingston retorted that teenagers just don’t have the ability to organize protests.

But students have organized several protests in the past few days, and more are planned.

WATCH: Unconscionable grief follows Florida shooting massacre

About 100 students from Stoneman Douglas High School are busing 400 miles to Florida’s capital Tuesday to push lawmakers on gun laws reform.

A rally is planned for Wednesday, in hopes that it will put pressure on the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to consider a sweeping package of gun-control laws, something some GOP lawmakers said Monday they would consider.

On March 24, Florida students who survived the shooting are planning an event dubbed “March For Our Lives” in Washington, D.C.

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“March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar,” the event’s website reads.

“Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear. It doesn’t have to be this way.”

— With files from The Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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