On a day when hundreds of thousands of people marched in support of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivors, one senator took time to tell those students he does not support their cause.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a Saturday statement that there are “many other Americans who do not support a gun ban” because they view it as a threat to the Second Amendment.
While Rubio included in his statement a line about respecting the demonstrators’ right to peaceful protests, he quickly expressed his opposition.
“While I do not agree with all of the solutions they propose, I respect their views and recognize that many Americans support certain gun bans,” the senator said.
Those against gun bans “want to prevent mass shootings” too, Rubio continued, but they “view banning guns as an infringement on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens that ultimately will not prevent these tragedies.”
Students at the March For Our Lives rallies repeatedly attacked Rubio and his ties to the National Rifle Association on Saturday, even before he released his statement.
At the D.C. rally, Parkland students wore orange price tags listed at $1.05, which is what they said they were worth to the senator. The $1.05 price tag represents the amount of money the NRA has donated to Rubio campaigns divided by the number of students in Florida, the demonstrators explained.
Rubio has an A+ rating from the gun rights group for supporting NRA-friendly legislation. According to the New York Times, he has received $3.3 million from the group.
The Republican senator faced off with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during a CNN Town Hall in February. There, he defended his support of the NRA, telling the students he is influenced by the millions of people within the NRA ― and not the millions of dollars they give him.
“The influence of these groups comes not from money,” Rubio said at the time, speaking to students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “The influence comes from the millions of people that agree with the agenda, the millions of Americans that support the NRA.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported that the $1.05 price tags worn at the rally represented the number of students in Florida divided by the amount of money the NRA has donated to Rubio. It is the money divided by the number of students.