As classrooms across the country emptied and students streamed into school yards, Noah Borba stayed put.
The 16-year-old Minnesota student said he didn’t leave because he doesn’t fully support the movement behind the National School Walkout.
“Because I have yet to have heard many good ideas, the movement seems too vague for my liking,” Noah told CNN. “And I would not like to associate myself with something I could end up disagreeing with in the future.”
So he sat in his empty classroom Wednesday at Buffalo High School, feet propped on his desk.
Those supporting the walkout have three main demands for Congress: Ban assault weapons; require universal background checks before gun sales; and pass a gun violence restraining order law.
Noah said while it would be “pretty cool” if the country banned assault rifles, “I don’t think logistically it’s realistic” to eliminate oall of the assault rifles already out there.
“If it was feasible, I might support it,” he said.
In Michigan, Austin Roth also chose not to walk out — but for a very different reason.
Austin, a senior at Lapeer High School, said he’s “100% supportive of those who choose to be in the national walkout to show they care about the lives lost in Florida and every other school shooting.”
“However, I am not supportive of those who use a tragic event to push their political agendas, such as gun control,” he said.
So instead of walking out, Austin and other young Republicans from his school gathered in the cafeteria to voice their opinions.
Austin, 17, says he’s a “staunch Republican” who carries a copy of the Constitution in his pocket every day.
“I do support federal background checks, (and) I’m not completely against raising the age to 21” to buy firearms, Austin said.
But he said he strongly disagrees with the idea of banning assault rifles, saying they can be useful when confronted with multiple burglars or other criminals.
“Guns are not the problem,” Austin said, “the people are the problem.”