Kasich: Lawmakers who ignore student activists should be held 'accountable at the ballot box'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) called on Sunday for politicians who fail to respond to student activists demanding action on gun control to be "held accountable at the ballot box."

"If we keep the pressure on — we're not going to change everything overnight — but you can get significant changes," Kasich said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"And if they do not, if they do not bring about change, I think people should be held absolutely accountable at the ballot box," he continued. "I have no question about it."

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Kasich also ripped lawmakers for their inaction on gun control, accusing them of being "afraid of their own shadows."

"There are three kinds of people who are involved in this gun debate: those that want no changes on guns — believe me they're there and they're strong — and those people that think there ought to be significant changes, even while we protect the Second Amendment," Kasich said.

"And the third group are a bunch of politicians who are afraid of their own shadows," he added.

Kasich's comments came after hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in cities across the country for "March for Our Lives" rallies, which sought to demand action from lawmakers on gun violence.

The rallies were led by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which entered headlines last month after a gunman opened fire there, killing 17 people and wounding 14.

The attack reignited an intense national debate over gun laws, with students putting pressure on lawmakers to back tightening firearm restrictions. 

Kasich earlier this month released gun reform proposals for Ohio, including improved background checks and a law providing for law enforcement to take weapons from a person deemed to be a threat.