Student Cameron Kasky demanded Rubio declare he would no longer take National Rifle Association money. He took nearly $10K during the 2016 election cycle.
Rubio began to bob and weave, saying the influence of the NRA does not come from the millions of dollars it doles out to politicians in Washington. “It comes from millions of people who support the agenda” who that group represent. Rubio insisted he takes money only from those orgs that “buy into my agenda.”
It did not play well with the 7,000 furious locals attending CNN’s live Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.
Rubio then insisted he will “prevent any law that supports the killing of people,” whatever the heck that had to do with it, but will “always accept money from people who support my agenda.”
Throwing the mob a bone to gnaw on, Rubio said he would support legislation raising
the age at which someone could buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years. But, wait a minute, the NRA does not buy into that agenda, as NRA rep Dana Loesch said later in the town hall explaining that she needed her shotgun when lived alone at age 20. Anyone old enough to vote and drive a car should have the right to a semi-automatic rifle, she said. Unless they’re crazy, she clarified.
Rubio said he did not know what is the NRA’s position on teachers being armed – President Donald Trump’s bright idea during his earlier “Listening Session” at the White House. Anyway, Rubio bravely called that a bad idea.
Loesch, also bravely, asserted people not of right mind, who were a danger to self or others, should never have access to guns. But she blamed state and local authorities who do not properly handle mentally ill people for the cottage mass murder industry that has sprung up in this country since Columbine.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was among the 17 murdered last week at the high school by a former student, told Rubio his comments in the aftermath of the latest mass shooting were “pathetically weak,” demanding the senator acknowledge guns “were the factor in the hunting of our kids in this school this week.”
“The problems we face here today cannot be solved by gun laws alone,” Rubio began to bob and weave again, getting interrupted often by the crowd who was not buying what he was shoveling.
Rubio, for instance, warned that current semi-automatic weapon ban legislation has more holes than swiss cheese and order to close it up “you’d have to ban every semi-automatic rifle.”
Wild applause in favor of that idea he’d tossed out as nutty stuff.
“Fair enough,” Rubio conceded, genuinely surprised at the reaction, suggesting he needs to get out more.
At one point, Guttenberg painted a picture for Rubio of his daughter running down the hallway at the high school, being shot in the back with an assault weapon. “It’s a weapon of war,” he blasted. “The fact that you can’t stand with everybody in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”
Town Hall moderator Jake Tapper tried his best to wrangle the testy crowd. But they were unhappy when he had to cut off the second panel just as they were warming up to whaling on Loesch because Don Lemon’s show was about to start. It may have marked the first CNN town hall at which the moderator got the raspberry from the audience. Anyway, when it finally ended, Tapper had had a good workout.