Marjory Stoneman Douglas students had a harsh message for Sen. Marco Rubio during the March for Our Lives rally Saturday in Washington, DC. David Hogg, one of the student leaders from the school, didn’t waste time in calling out his state senator during his speech on Saturday. “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. $1.05.” Hogg pointed to the bright orange $1.05 price tag he and other classmates wore to the march.
The figure is their calculation of what each Florida student is worth to the Republican senator; they came up with it by dividing the amount the National Rifle Association has spent to support Rubio’s campaigns, $3.3 million, by the 3.1 million public and private students in the state. Since Rubio’s first Senate bid in 2010, the NRA has spent about $1 million to support his campaigns, and $2.3 million to attack his opponents, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Each student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas wore a price tag with $1.05 on Saturday to point out how much money they say Sen. Marco Rubio got from the National Rifle Association -- divided by each student in Florida.@marcorubio #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/pvGt8mRmuX— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) March 25, 2018
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have repeatedly called out Rubio for taking money from the powerful gun lobby group.
In a February 21 town hall hosted by CNN after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky asked Rubio if he would promise to not to take another dollar from the National Rifle Association.
“No,” Rubio said during the televised town hall. “The answer to the question is that people buy into my agenda. And I do support the Second Amendment. And I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe.” He did say that he would support some gun control measures, such as raising the age limit to buy guns to 21, but no such bill has been introduced in Congress yet.
As students marched in Washington, DC, on Saturday, Rubio made no mention of the pointed attacks on him. Instead, he highlighted the need to compromise on gun control.
Today many are peacefully exercising their #1A right to march for gun ban. Many support gun ban. But many others see it as infringement of #2A that won’t prevent shootings. Protest is good way of making a point,but making a change will require both sides finding common ground— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 24, 2018
In a following statement, he pointed to the Stop School Violence Act as the compromise. The law, which President Donald Trump signed on Saturday as part of the omnibus spending bill, provides funding to train students, teachers, and law enforcement on how to spot and report signs of gun violence.
It also provides money to improve school security, strengthens the system of background checks on gun buyers, and provides some funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on gun violence.
But the law doesn’t do anything to regulate gun sales or to restrict the sale of assault-style weapons like the AR-15; it’s far from what the students listed in their demands on gun control. It doesn’t look like they will let Rubio — or the rest of the country — forget that.