Marco Rubio was still in his first year as a senator when a madman with an assault rifle murdered 20 schoolchildren and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. After the Miami Herald pressed him for a response, he said he hoped to "take a break from the politics of shooting for a few days to mourn."
Maybe he did mourn, but the idea that he ever took a break from the "politics of shooting" was a lie. When you've relied as much as Rubio on NRA cash to stay in power, the politics of shooting is your day job. And Rubio has never failed to deliver for an organization that opposes any move toward saner gun laws.
Now 17 high-school kids and teachers are dead in Rubio's backyard. And the man who has taken more than any other Florida politico from the NRA — $3.3 million as of this past October — still doesn't want to talk about what he's going to do about it. That's because he's going to do jack fucking nothing, which is exactly what the NRA pays for him to do.
Look at this shit:
In days ahead will become increasingly evident that killer in todays #FloridaSchoolShooting gave plenty of indications of what was to come— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 15, 2018
Rubio is absolutely right. The shooter in Parkland was well known to be mentally unstable. He posted photos on Instagram of dead and mutilated animals and took knives and bullets to school. Before he was kicked out, teachers were warned never to let him in with a backpack. He ended up in a program for troubled kids.
Think about that fact. A guy who was so messed up he wasn't allowed to carry a backpack into class had every legal right to buy a military-style weapon capable of holding high-capacity magazines that can wreak enormous damage.
Cruz, at the very least, could have been denied access to these tools designed to maximize mass killings. The federal government banned them from 1994 until 2004. Mass shootings still happened in those years, of course, but one of the most accessible and deadliest weapons to carry them out was much more difficult to get.
The GOP, though, refused to renew the ban. And after Sandy Hook, Rubio's party — yet again — blocked attempts to renew it even though the killer there had used an AR-15 to murder all of those little kids. Barely a year later, in April 2013, Rubio voted against a measure to ban high-capacity magazines — the kind that let mass killers pump dozens of rounds into innocent victims without having to pause to reload.
Rubio's most cynical move of all, though, came after Florida's latest massacre before yesterday's carnage. Rubio, who had declared he would never return to the Senate after his presidential run, reversed course after the Pulse nightclub killings. Despite a long anti-LGBT record, he claimed the murders had spurred his return to politics.
Then he promptly voted against a bipartisan measure that would have banned gun sales to people on terrorism watch lists — a move that might have prevented the Pulse shooter from getting his gun. (Rubio did offer his own watered-down version of that bill instead. It failed. Nothing happened.)
Now here we are. Seventeen kids and teachers are dead thanks to another madman with another assault rifle.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
And Rubio, again, says we should all just, you know, chill with the gun stuff.
“People don't know how this happened: who this person is, what motivated them,” Rubio told Fox News. “I think it's important to know all of that before you jump to conclusions that there's some law that we could have passed that could have prevented it.”
Who gives a shit what imagined grievance or misguided politics inspired this killer to murder 17 people including kids? Ban assault rifles. Ban bump stocks. Fucking do something, you spineless ghoul.
But Rubio has 3.3 million reasons and a sterling A+ rating from the NRA sitting on his office mantle motivating him to stay the course until the next bloodbath.