In the immortal words of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. After yet another terrible shooting left seventeen dead at a Florida high school, the typical responses are pouring in from our Republican lawmakers. They offer some version of the cliché “thoughts and prayers” response before adamantly defending guns.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio both appeared broken up by the event on social media, apparently forgetting their role in yet another massacre in the state they are supposed to be helping. As they prepare to make the rounds on cable television and deliver inauthentic speeches to their constituents, let’s remind these gentlemen of their storied relationship with the National Rifle Association over the years.
Both men received “A+” ratings from the NRA ahead of their last elections (the highest rating a politician can from the gun lobby). Last year, Rubio received over three million dollars from the group and has said on the record that “gun laws are ineffective.” Meanwhile, Scott had already signed more pro-gun bills into law than any other Florida governor had in history before his first year in office had even finished.
The Florida Republicans’ cozy relationship with the gun lobby is very well-documented and clearly the reason why, in the midst of yet another bloodbath in their state, they refuse to seriously discuss the possibility of gun control. Both men said that now is not the time to have an open dialogue about restricting firearms. If it were left up to them, the time would, of course, be never. Apparently, these public servants would rather allow more citizens, more children to be shot dead in schools, concerts, and night clubs before turning their back on the NRA.
When a mentally disturbed teenager can legally buy a semiautomatic rifle without raising any flags, there is a clear problem. Instead, Republicans like Donald Trump would rather blame the victims than suggest any legislation to prevent this from happening so often. Floridians and all Americans must demand change from Rubio, Scott, Trump and every other Republican who is in the the NRA’s back pocket.
After the shooting, Marco Rubio tweeted that this is a “terrible day that you pray never come” Perhaps now it will dawn on him that prayers alone are not going to fix this nation’s gun problem.
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