Since the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and teachers dead and an additional 17 wounded, gun control activists have focused much of their ire on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and today’s March For Our Lives was no exception. These attacks display a coldly partisan calculation and willful ignorance of the facts.
When student activist David Hogg spoke at the Washington, D.C. rally today, he essentially accused Rubio of profiting from the murder of schoolchildren. Think I’m exaggerating? Here are his words, as reported by The Hill:
Taking the stage at the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, Hogg placed a price tag on a lectern, representing the amount of money Rubio’s campaign took from the National Rifle Association (NRA) for each of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.
“First off, I’m going to start off by putting this price tag right here as a reminder for you guys to know how much Marco Rubio took for every student’s life in Florida,” Hogg said.
The student’s comments were the latest on Saturday to decry the NRA’s influence on lawmakers. Rubio is among the top recipients of NRA contributions in the Senate, having received more than $3 million in donations from the gun rights group and its affiliates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
First of all, this reporter is either being deliberately misleading or doesn’t understand how campaign finance laws work. That “$3 million” figure is over the course of Rubio’s two-decade-long career as an elected official and the vast majority of it is not donations to his campaign at all, but independent PAC money the NRA spent on ads, expenditures which Rubio has no legal ability to control or even communicate with the NRA in an effort to influence. It’s inaccurate to say Rubio “received” this money.
Secondly, to insinuate that Rubio took even a penny in exchange for “student’s lives” is absolutely vile. Rubio and his wife Jeanette Rubio have four children of their own that they love dearly and have never wished harm on anyone else’s children.
Then there were the many signs carried by protesters that targeted Rubio. One, captured by the Washington Free Beacon‘s Stephen Gutowksi, called Rubio a “kid killer” and “NRA B****,” mocked his religious beliefs, and another accused him of having blood on his hands.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) March 24, 2018
It should be noted who is not blamed on any of these signs: the actual murderer.
Here’s the inconvenient fact that Hogg and the other March For Our Lives protesters who are so angry at Rubio are forgetting: he has been doing something.
In fact, Rubio’s been doing a lot of somethings.
Here is a partial timeline of events during the past few weeks, pulled from Rubio’s Senate website, Twitter feed, and public news reports:
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