The student-led grassroots anti-gun movement is a force to be reckoned with
22 Febrero 2018 15:57
A furious and rapturous crowd of Florida students and their families stood toe-to-toe with lawmakers and the National Rifle Association while demanding a renewed ban on assault weapons.
Republican senator Marco Rubio was grilled and booed at by victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where just last week a gunman entered the premises and shot dead 17 people and wounded five others.
Rubio said he supported legislation to raise the legal age to purchase a rifle to 21 from the current requirement of 18. He also said he supported a law to create gun violence restraining orders, meaning that family members and law enforcement could petition a court to remove guns from a dangerous person.
Rubio also admitted that he opposed Donald Trump’s proposal that arming teachers with guns or putting more armed security in classrooms would prevent future school shootings.
In addition to this, the Florida senator said he was also ‘reconsidering’ supporting a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. Rubio cited that details from the investigation on the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school would influence his decision if they show that limits on ammunition magazines might have saved lives in the shooting.
However, all the confessions in the world wouldn’t silence this crowd of rightfully angry Florida residents. At one crucial point, Rubio attempted to argue that it did not make sense to ban only a small number of semi-automatic rifles.
‘You would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America,’ he tried to begin with, but his reasoning was cut short by huge cheers from the crowd. ‘Fair enough, fair enough,’ Rubio said. ‘That is a valid position to hold.’
Cameron Kasky, one of the Stoneman Douglas organisers of the student march on Washington, probed Rubio about his involvement with the NRA, arguably delivering the most powerful question of the whole event.
‘Can you tell me right now you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?’
Rubio, who was backed by the NRA during his election campaign with more than $1m, refused to make that promise, arguing that his belief in the second amendment was shaped by long principle, and that ‘people buy into my agenda, I don’t buy into theirs’.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump met with families of the victims at the White House in Washington, where he said arming teachers with guns could prevent school shootings. A staff member with a gun could end an attack ‘very quickly’, he said.