Parkland student is Democratic lawmaker’s guest for State of the Union

Ahead of next week’s State of the Union address, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California announced Friday that he invited one of the students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as his guest for the event.

Eighteen-year-old Cameron Kasky has been one of the most vocal and visible student survivors who played a key role in organizing the March for Our Lives protest last year. This year’s State of the Union address on Tuesday comes just days before the one-year anniversary of the Parkland school’s shooting on February 14, 2018. Seventeen people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the public high school.

Swalwell said in a statement that he’s honored to have Kasky as his guest for this year’s speech to Congress.

“I’m proud to have Cameron join me at the Capitol, nearly one year after he faced a horror no kid should endure at school, to continue this fight, because there is no right more important than the right to live,” he said.

Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a bill in January that would require background checks on private transactions related to gun sales. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who survived a deadly shooting in January 2011 in Arizona, attended the bill announcement on Capitol Hill.

In the statement provided by Swalwell’s office, Kasky called Swalwell “one of the most effective change makers out there these days” and says he looks forward to “meaningful discussions about how we can take action to tackle gun violence for the horrific epidemic.”