What Happened: Florida School Shooting Survivors Took Sen. Mark Rubio to Task

Primary Source: BBC News

Last week, a Florida school shooting left 17 people—students, teachers, and administrators—dead. Since the horrific event, survivors of the shooting have taken up the fight for stricter legislation on gun control. On February 21nd, they boarded busses to Tallahassee, the Florida state capital, to attend and participate in a town hall meeting with Senator Marco Rubio and moderated by CNN correspondent Jake Tapper.


Before the town hall meeting, the Florida state legislature rejected a ban on assault rifles similar to the one used in the school shooting. Survivors of the shooting and parents of the killed students took turn questioning and arguing with Marco Rubio. Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime, who was killed in the shooting at just 14 years old, argued with the senator for six and a half minutes. Rubio stated his view that the problem, “cannot be solved by gun laws alone.”


A Stoneman Douglas High School junior, Cameron Kasky, delivered one of the more powerful questions of the evening. He asked Rubio to turn down campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association. In response, Rubio said he supports the Second Amendment, but that he also stood for school safety. When asked directly if he would accept donations from the NRA, Rubio did not provide a direct answer.


In a similar confrontation, student Emma Gonzales asked Dana Loesch, the National Rifle Association spokeswoman, if she supports the ability to purchase bump stocks, a weapon component capable of turning a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic. Loesch replied that the NRA is waiting on the Justice Department to make a ruling on these devices.


On the same day, thousands of students nationwide walked out of their classrooms in solidary with the survivors. In Florida, these student protestors carried banners stating, “never again,” and chanted, “protect our kids.” Survivors of the shooting are planning the March for Our Lives, a nationwide protest, to take place in Washington D.C. on March 24th.