After a mass shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors and the parents of murdered children are looking for answers. Two people they’ve gone to for answers are their state’s U.S. senators, Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R).
While Nelson agrees that common sense gun law reform is both necessary and vital to addressing the issue of mass shootings in America, Rubio has held to his position that most proposals suggested by those looking for answers are too radical and a violation of his belief in the overly broad scope he attaches to the Second Amendment. Now, he just wants to be left alone on the issue, and expressed his discomfort at being a target of criticism by these survivors on his Twitter page.
During a town hall meeting with survivors, their parents, and the parents and families of students who have not survived these mass shootings, Rubio was asked directly if he would refuse money from the wealthiest political lobbying group working to find against solutions, the NRA.
A Parkland shooting survivor looked Marco Rubio in the eye and asked if he'd stop taking money from the NRA. Rubio failed to say no. pic.twitter.com/vC5WjqDPIQ
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 23, 2018
Rubio deflected the question and refused to agree to deny campaign contributions from the NRA. Rubio currently has an A rating from the gun lobbyist group.
‘The positions I hold on these issues of the Second Amendment, I’ve held since the day I entered office in the city of West Miami as an elected official. People buy into my agenda, and I do support the Second Amendment.’
On Wednesday, a new Quinnipiac poll showed that Rubio’s refusal to denounce or break ties with the organization is hurting him politically in Florida as voters demand change to protect the lives of innocent people, including children, by implementing tougher restrictions on gun purchases.
To deflect from the growing outrage at Rubio’s refusal to listen to his constituents and their children – children whose lives have been threatened and tragically broken by the proliferation of guns in this country – Rubio lashed out at the debate around guns and those who disagree with him, specifically calling out the young people who have refused to lie down and be traumatized, preferring instead to rise and work for real reform.
Comments on Rubio’s tweet from his right-wing, NRA-supporting base highlighted the divisive debate, but not on the side of the children fighting for change.
Never mind that not a single piece of information in that meme is true, and ignore the fact that it deflects from the actual issue of gun violence, it’s being thrown around quite often on social media as a response to the debate. It is not helpful nor accurate, but GOP/NRA supporters have found it to be a favorite during the growing call for change. These inaccurate and hurtful memes aren’t coming from the kids who are trying to create change, they’re coming from Rubio’s voters. Yet he chooses to call out the survivors of the gun massacre rather than this kind of divisiveness.
Twitter responded to Rubio’s tweet, although not the way he probably hoped they would.
Featured image via Getty/Mark Wilson