Four years after Marco Rubio promised Florida families that he would take concrete action to help reduce gun violence in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he has largely failed to act. In the latest sign of his political cowardice, Rubio didn’t show up to the event in Parkland his office hosted this week to hear from constituents.
Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, herself a victim of the effects of gun violence, hosted a virtual press conference yesterday with Parkland-area gun owners who are fed up with Rubio’s failure to support common sense bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation and refusal to show up in their community.
See below for key quotes and watch a full recording here:
“It gives me absolutely no pleasure to be here with you once again bringing attention to the issue that Senator Marco Rubio has failed Floridians. He failed us after the shooting at Parkland when we held a town hall meeting and Floridians demanded action…He failed us when he decided not to support passing a universal background checks bill in the Senate. And he’s also failed us this week when he chose a week that we commemorated and honored the lives of 17 souls that we lost four years ago, and failed to show up…He’s actually caving in to the influence of the gun lobby by receiving $3 million in political contributions,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
“I’m a thirty-year plus educator here with Broward Public Schools and I am also a gun owner, we are a gun owning family…In the latest sign of Rubio’s lack of courage, his office hosted office hours in Parkland today, right after the fourth anniversary of the MSD shooting. But Rubio himself didn’t bother to come. Instead he sent his staff. This is yet another reminder to us, his constituents, that Senator Marco Rubio is simply too weak to step up in Washington to support even common sense bipartisan legislation that would save lives,” said Debby Miller, a Broward County Public Schools educator.
“On February 14, 2018, my daughter hid in a closet for hours, while an armed teenager walked the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, killing 17 students and faculty members, and injuring another 17. It was by far, the most frightening day of our lives. I was lucky to have my daughter return home that day, our friends weren’t as fortunate…On February 22, there was a Parkland townhall with Senator Marco Rubio…At this event, Rubio stated, ‘I think, in the name of 17 people, I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this from getting a gun’…After he looked us in the eye to say that he would help, he has completely abandoned those promises on the Senate floor…This spinelessness is exactly why I, along with many other Floridians, are completely fed up with Marco Rubio,” said Stacey Wesch, a Parkland resident and mother of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivor.
“Instead of taking action while our nation’s gun violence epidemic spins out of control, Senator Rubio has abandoned this issue and is too afraid to step and act on this preventable crisis. Florida needs a leader in Congress who is willing to listen to people like us – responsible gun owners that are living in communities that have suffered the devastating toll of gun violence and who know what policies we need to keep our kids and communities safe…If there was ever a time for Marco Rubio to show up himself and hear from us, it would be this week. But instead, no, we had to meet with his staff. Rubio has proven time again that he doesn’t have the courage to show up for Parkland and fight for our community in Congress,” said Angela Weber, a mother of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivor.