Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that he bought a gun on Christmas Eve and will use it to protect his family — and America — against ISIS.
“I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment. I have a right to protect my family if someone were to come after us,” Rubio said on Face the Nation. “In fact, if ISIS were to visit us, or our communities, at any moment, the last line of defense between ISIS and my family is the ability that I have to protect my family from them, or from a criminal, or anyone else who seeks to do us harm. Millions of Americans feel that way.”
Rubio’s comments mirror the notion, pushed relentlessly by the NRA, that only a “good guy with a gun” can prevent mass shooting. There is no evidence, however, that armed civilians are effective in stopping active shootings, whether they are perpetrated from jihadists or right-wing extremists.
Meanwhile, Rubio’s home state of Florida has seen a marked increase in gun deaths as gun ownership rises, the Center for Public Integrity found. Guns also account for more than three-quarters of homicides in the state.
At the recent Republican debate in South Carolina, Rubio repeated the conservative trope that President Obama is trying to take Americans’ guns away.
It is true that Obama recently announced a number of moderate actions on gun control, including tightening the so-called “gun show loophole” and increasing funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives. None of these actions would prevent legal purchases of guns, including handguns like the one Rubio said he purchased Christmas Eve.
Rubio said that if elected, he would reverse Obama’s actions.