Kansas teen governor candidate helps plan metro school’s Friday walkout

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Tyler Ruzich is on a campaign to become the next governor for the state of Kansas, and this week he’s taking on another civics project: a school walkout.

Ruzich is one of the student organizers for Friday’s student walkout at Shawnee Mission North High School.

Like thousands of students participating in National School Walkout day, Ruzich will walk out of class at 10 a.m. to mark 19 years since the Columbine school shooting and to remember the victims of all school shootings.

“This is gun violence. This is a problem that is not existent at this level and magnitude in any other civilized country,” the 17-year-old said. “We have a major problem, and the more we sit back and do nothing the bigger the problem it’s going to become.”

Ruzich describes himself as a "moderate Republican" who believes in the 2nd Amendment. He disagrees with the criticism that student walkouts over gun violence are politically motivated or part of an "anti-gun agenda."

“I think we can all agree that people who can’t pass a simple background check or have a harsh criminal history, whether at a gun show or at a regularly licensed dealer -- they shouldn’t be able to get their hands on a firearm,” Ruzich said. “If they’re on the sex offender registry, if you have a history of domestic violence, I think everyone would agree we shouldn’t trust those people with a firearm.”

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