As Marco Rubio doubles down on his opposition to commonsense gun safety legislation in the wake of another tragic school shooting, Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago slammed him for his political cowardice to stand up to the gun lobby and his refusal to take action.
The NRA’s top gun senator from Florida won’t back down. Widely respected polls show that the majority of Americans support some type of gun control — and reject the idea peddled by Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio that no arms regulation can prevent school shootings.
In a series of tweets, Rubio attacked the Miami Heat basketball team and the NBA for displaying during a game an affecting ad calling for legislative action on gun control. Because the organization he’s really behind is the NRA.
But, according to Rubio, we should surrender to fate instead of seeking solutions as a country capable of launching space missions but not stopping angry young men from gunning down large numbers of people in a matter of minutes.
For Rubio, the No. 1 concern isn’t the safety of our children, or anyone else, but gun industry’s ability to sell fancier and more powerful rifles. After all, the National Rifle Association has contributed $3.3 million to his political campaigns, funding his career.
Even Senate Minority leader Mitch O’Connell can read the political moment and has asked Republican senators to work with Democrats to come up with bipartisan solutions. But nothing seems to sway Rubio, who voted on Thursday along with Republican colleagues — as devastating stories of loss poured out of Texas — to block a measure already on the table, a bill to address domestic terrorism.
After the slaughter of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, in 2012, Rubio, a father of four, gloated publicly that he would oppose all legislation restricting guns. He threatened, along with other Republicans, to filibuster gun bills.
After the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, where 49 people were killed, Rubio voted against a measure to expand background checks. A year earlier, he had voted against expanding background checks after the San Bernardino shooting.
He couldn’t brush off the Parkland school shooting in South Florida as easily, thanks to the survivors who’ve made it their lives’ work to stop the madness. He promised to support some measures, like background checks and age restrictions on rifle purchases.
But Wednesday he wasn’t having it any of it, telling CNN’s Manu Raju: “The truth of the matter is these people are going to commit these horrifying crimes, whether they have to use another weapon to do it, they’re going to figure out a way to do it.”
The stories of immeasurable sorrow in the tight-knit town of Uvalde, Texas, are heart-breaking. So are the facts, among them the impotence and Parkland-like negligence of armed law enforcement faced with another killer armed with an AR 15-style assault weapon. But neither horror nor fact sways Rubio. Come November, voters should make him see the light at the ballot box.
Rubio should pay for his disdain for our grief and loss — with his job.