Florida seeks $1M in federal aid after shooting

Elias Hubbard
February 24, 2018

Sen. Marco Rubio's new openness to tighter restrictions on firearms left gun-control advocates clamoring Thursday for a tougher stand from the Florida Republican, as he took to Twitter to reflect on his emotionally charged exchanges with survivors of last week's deadly high school shooting and the parents of the victims.

Late-night hosts had fun with Senator Marco Rubio's appearance on CNN's Town Hall on gun violence on Wednesday night, during which time Rubio was grilled by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, parents and community members on his approach to gun control.

Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jamie was among those gunned down at Marjory Stone, started his question to Rubio by labeling the senator's comments over the previous week "pathetically weak", a criticism that drew an ovation from the crowd. The fact that you can't stand with everybody in this building and say that? Although the AR-15 - the weapon used in the Florida shooting - is not technically defined as an assault weapon, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac in the wake of the massacre found that 67% support a nationwide ban on assault weapon sales.

"Sen. Rubio, my daughter running down the hallway at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas was shot in the back with an assault weapon". It is a weapon of war.

"I understand that youre standing up for the NRA but you just told this group of people that youre standing up for them", he said.

But to Rubio, the "mainstream" obviously means the NRA, who have kept him in office for decades with millions in donations - and will keep doing so until Floridians finally find a way to kick him out of the Senate. Surprisingly, Sheriff Israel directly said he is 100 percent supportive of the Never Again movement and demanded gun control from lawmakers and the NRA - an extremely rare position for law enforcement to take. "CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever".

Have we seen town halls before? Yes. It certainly did not to thousands of people who were in the audience at CNN's fascinating event, where they booed and challenged Rubio.

"My friends and I are afraid that we're going to be murdered in our classrooms".

But beyond the policy, Rubio, Nelson and Deutch all struggled to answer the questions that spoke to the raw emotions of last week's shooting.

Rubio, a 2016 presidential contender, came out in favor of raising the age limit for buying assault-style rifles and said hed reconsider opposition to limiting magazine capacity.

Ryan Schachter, whose brother Alex, was fatally gunned down at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was among those questioning the lawmakers. Diane Wolk Rogers, a history teacher at the school, asked Loesch if his possession of an assault rifle is in keeping with the Second Amendment's language about the right of "a well-regulated militia" to keep and bear arms.

"I will always accept the help of anyone who agrees with my agenda", Rubio said.

Seventeen people were killed in the February 14 shooting when Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on the school in Parkland.

During the event Dana Loesch, spokesperson for the NRA, was confronted by the mother of Scott Beigel, a teacher who died in the shooting, who asked why the inalienable rights of her son were not as protected as that of the right to carry weapons. "I'll tell you why", he said, "because while it may not prevent an attack, it may save lives in an attack".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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