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Denise Hooks on banning weapons, arming school police, NRA

Society should ban military-style weapons, although defining which firearms that includes is a work in progress. Also, armed police would be appropriate in some schools. That’s according to Denise Hooks, the college student facilitator of March for Our Lives Las Vegas, which is happening on Saturday.

“We have to start addressing the root cause of gun violence,” said Hooks while filming Nevada Politics Today. “Part of that cause is that we have an excessive sale of military-style weapons.

“A military-style weapon is basically weapons that they use directly for and are created for military use.”

Asked to clarify what a military-style weapon is, Hooks said, “It’s the amount of clips that you can put into people. I think that that’s where we’re differentiating here. Yes, someone can still go out and shoot people with a pistol. That’s not the problem we’re trying to solve.”

Military-style weapons do not include 9mm handguns carried by military officers, said Hooks. She later suggested that only military members be allowed to carry semi-automatic weapons.

“There’s a scale and a difference between a pistol/a handgun and semi-automatic weapon,” said Hooks. “I think there is a level of responsibility that should be carried with people that are allowed to own those weapons and that would be the military.”

Asked again about a definition, Hooks said the lack of a definition shouldn’t prevent both sides from moving forward.

“It has to be defined, but I don’t think that that’s saying just because we don’t have the definition now, then we don’t do anything,” she said. “Those conversations need to be had with both sides. It’s okay for people to be concerned, and say ‘How do we differentiate this?’ What’s not okay is for us to say, ‘We don’t know how to differentiate these things, so we shouldn’t do anything.’”

While opposed to arming teachers, Hooks thought armed police would be beneficial in some schools. On Tuesday, an armed school police officer shot and killed a school shooter in Maryland.

“Maybe we do need armed guards in some schools in some demographics and maybe we don’t need armed guards in some schools and in some demographics,” she said. “In the black community, if you put armed officers in schools, that’s militarizing.”

Survivors of the Florida shooting have frequently attacked the NRA. One student, David Hoggs, even labeled the group “child murderers.” Hooks said Hoggs was “standing up for his peers.”

“I think it was very appropriate [for Hoggs to call the NRA ‘child murderers’],” said Hooks. “What that youth is saying is accurate. We are living in a society where people can’t have opposing opinions without being villainized and polarized.”

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