Cardin Says Montgomery County Student Protest Made Him Proud To Represent Maryland

Democratic senator says lawmakers are listening to young voices demand gun control


U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin takes questions from students at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville on Friday.

Bethany Rodgers

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin acknowledges that the gun control discussion is somewhat worn, with one call to action after another fading without significant progress.

But on Friday, he told a group of Richard Montgomery High School students that this time would be different.

Why? Because of them.

“Americans are with you. You have captured their imagination and support,” he said, sporting a Richard Montgomery T-shirt as he spoke to the teens.

Cardin said he was proud to be a Maryland representative on Wednesday, when an estimated 2,500 students flooded D.C. to press lawmakers for action on gun control. The youth movement has changed the conversation on the issue, Cardin said.

He told the student group that federal lawmakers must bar private ownership of assault-style firearms and require comprehensive background checks for gun purchases, including records on criminal and domestic violence incidents. 

Cardin fielded a number of questions from students, one about whether tightening restrictions on guns might result in an increase in violent acts committed with other weapons.

The senator said firearms are capable of inflicting more casualties than knives, for instance, and argued that there are simply too prevalent in the United States. There are 88 guns for every 100 people in America, he said.

Another student asked Cardin, a Democrat, how he plans to overcome Republican resistance to gun control measures.

The senator talked about the importance of listening and compromise, but said lawmakers who are unwilling to budget on changing gun laws should be voted out.

“Children’s safety should not be a partisan issue,” he said, later adding that constituents should hold accountable legislators beholden to the National Rifle Association.

About 200 students from social studies classes gathered in the Rockville school’s auditorium on Friday morning. During the event, Cardin repeatedly expressed opposition to arming teachers and school staff. Introducing more firearms to schools won’t solve the problem of violence against students, he said, and chances are slim that a teacher or security officer with a gun would be able to stop a school shooting.

“It’s a long shot. You’ve got to stop the tragedy before it happens,” he said.

One girl noted that she and many of her peers won’t be able to vote in the 2018 election. Many of those under voting age have already gotten involved by demonstrating and speaking out, but she asked what more they could do to make a difference.

Cardin recommended joining a campaign and perhaps supporting a local candidate in the upcoming election. He also encouraged students to stay focused on the issue and not to let the harried news cycle distract them from their ultimate objective.

“This time, it’s going to be different. We’re gonna pass something. We’re gonna get something done,” he said.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Hogan Signs Metro Funding, Amazon Incentive Package Bills in North Bethesda

The landmark policies are designed to improve the transit system and woo the tech giant to build in Montgomery County

Police Blotter: Rockville Woman Investigates Noise, Finds Three Men Breaking Into Home

Crimes reported to Montgomery County and Rockville police from April 4-10

Hogan, Other Officials Expected To Attend June 21 Groundbreaking for Marriott Headquarters

Work has already started to prepare the downtown Bethesda site

MCPS Teachers, Principals To See Salaries Climb over Next Two Years

Agreements with employee unions will cost about $ 130 million
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

French Country Estate

Potomac $1,900,000

Quiet Cul-de-Sac

Bethesda $1,479,000

All the Bells and Whistles

Bethesda $1,335,000

European Style Villa

Potomac $2,495,000

Privacy and a Pool

Bethesda $2,749,000
Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module