During CNN’s Wednesday night town hall event, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) a simple question: will he continue to accept funds from the National Rifle Association in spite of the 17 lives that were taken last week.
Rubio dodged the question.
“The answer to the question is that people buy into my agenda. And I do support the second amendment. And I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe. And I do support any law that would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer, and that’s why I support the things I have stood for and fought during my time here.”
“More NRA money?” Kasey asked.
Rubio clarified by saying that the influence “comes not from money” but from the “millions of Americans that support the NRA and support gun rights,” whatever that means.
The crowd wasn’t buying it, and returned with boos.
“So right now in the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?” Kasky pressed.
Rubio maintained that NRA campaign contributions are not the problem.
Marco Rubio has accepted $3,303,355 from the NRA in campaign contributions since took office in 2012.
Rubio’s financial relationship with the NRA has been scrutinized by Stoneman Douglas student activists ever since he tweeted out his condolences minutes after the shooting writing, “Today is that terrible day you pray never comes.”
Kasky appeared on Face the Nation Sunday morning and asked why it is up to the students to be agents of change when it comes to gun control legislation.
“It’s not our job to tell you, Senator Rubio, how to protect us,” Kasky said. “The fact that we even have to do this is appalling. Our job is to go to school, learn and not take a bullet. You need to figure this out. That’s why you were unfortunately elected. Your job is to protect us and our blood is on your hands.”
Stoneman Douglas High School students have reason to criticize Rubio — in the weeks following the shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando, the Senate rejected four competing gun proposals, with Rubio siding with the Republicans in voting against Democratic measures that would allow the attorney general to deny firearms and explosives to any suspected terrorists and to expand background checks for gun purchases.
In the wake of last week’s shooting, Rubio has co-sponsored legislation that would enact gun violence restraining-order laws, which allow firearms to be seized before a person commits a violent act.