Read

User menu

Search form

Florida Republicans’ Offers Of Prayers Invite Accusations Of Hypocrisy

Florida Republicans’ Offers Of Prayers Invite Accusations Of Hypocrisy
Fri, 2/16/2018 - by Nick Visser
This article originally appeared on Huff Post

Florida Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott were swift to condemn the horrific school shooting in their state on Wednesday afternoon, offering prayers after a gunman killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Scott called for “thoughts and prayers” as news of the shooting emerged, and Rubio sent off a tweet calling the shooting an event “you pray never comes.”

But both men have a history of coziness with gun advocates, receiving “A+” ratings and endorsements from the National Rifle Association ahead of their respective elections in 2014 and 2016. The distinction is reserved “for legislators who have excellent voting records on Second Amendment issues and who have vigorously fought to promote and defend the right to keep and bear arms.”

During a Republican presidential primary debate in 2015, Rubio said new gun laws were “ineffective” and “infringe on the rights of law-abiding people and do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.” A few months later, he went out and bought a gun on Christmas Eve.

Critics were quick to remind the lawmakers of their track records of voting against gun restrictions that could help prevent tragedies like the one in Parkland.

Some discussed Rubio’s longtime acceptance of campaign donations from the NRA. An analysis by The New York Times last year found he had received more than $3.3 million from the group.

Rubio rejected calls for gun control in an interview with Fox News after the Parkland shooting, saying it was the wrong time to discuss such efforts “because people don’t know how this happened.”

“I think it’s important to know all of [the facts] before you jump to conclusions that there’s some law we could have passed that could have prevented it,” he said. “There may be, but shouldn’t we at least know the facts? I think that we can always have that debate, but ... you should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law you claim could have prevented it.”

Later on Wednesday, Rubio said federal authorities told him the shooting was a “clear attack” that was “designed and executed to maximize loss of life.”

Scott has also long resisted gun control efforts. Shortly after the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, the Florida governor repeatedly said the Second Amendment “didn’t kill anybody.”

“Let’s remember, the Second Amendment has been around for over 200 years,” Scott told CNN at the time. “That’s not what killed innocent people; evil killed innocent people.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Wednesday that the shooter in Parkland was armed with an AR-15 assault-style rifle, a high-capacity weapon that has become synonymous with many of America’s deadliest mass shootings. The shooter in the Orlando attack used the same weapon, which is easier to obtain in Florida than a handgun. HuffPost reporters purchased an AR-15 in Orlando in just 38 minutes only two days after the shooting.

Many lawmakers have been urging Congress to take action to rein in access to such weaponry, but those efforts have mostly failed.

A bipartisan effort to ban “bump stocks,” which give semiautomatic weapons the capability to fire long bursts of ammunition, gained steam shortly after 58 people died in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival last year. Rubio said he was open to legislation that would ban bump stocks and that Congress should move “to prevent such attacks in the future.”

But four months later, the effort has largely failed at the national level, even as states and cities have moved to ban their sale.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who had just been elected when the Sandy Hook massacre took place, slammed his colleagues on Wednesday after the attack, saying Congress’ inaction had led to such shootings.

“This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America,” Murphy said. “This epidemic of mass slaughter ... it only happens here, not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction.”

Originally published by HuffPost

Sign Up

Article Tabs

gun violence, sexual harassment, fracking, universal healthcare

Check out these uplifting tales in an age of diminished expectations.

participatory budgeting, citizen decision-making, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Citizen control of spending decisions means communities decide what their city does and does not do with public funds. For 30 years the process has worked in Brazil, and now it's spreading rapidly.

Did you know that showering less will save some water—sadly, not millions of gallons that fracking operations use in a day—nor will it keep your water safe from contamination—or your house from exploding

Greek economic crisis, Greek bailout, Syriza party, Greek austerity measures, E.U. bailouts, Alexis Tsipras

Poverty, privatizations, debt – in Greece, which just officially "ended" its bailout program, the silent majority can't let go their fear that this might just be the prelude to something worse yet to come.

California, privatization, PG&E, investor-owned utilities, energy utilities, fire risk, fire damage, Global Climate Action Summit, public banks, energy prices, consumer fees

Oil companies heat and dry up the planet, power companies start fires on the dried up land – and we pay the bills.

gun violence, sexual harassment, fracking, universal healthcare

Check out these uplifting tales in an age of diminished expectations.

A 2016 demonstration in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement started five years earlier. (Corinne Segal / pbs.org)

We live in a new feudalism. We have been stripped of political power. Workers are trapped in menial jobs, forced into crippling debt and paid stagnant or declining wages. Where will this end?

participatory budgeting, citizen decision-making, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Citizen control of spending decisions means communities decide what their city does and does not do with public funds. For 30 years the process has worked in Brazil, and now it's spreading rapidly.

bank bailouts, criminal executives, bank crimes, foreclosure crisis, subprime mortgages, derivatives market, too big to fail

Here's Why No One Went to Jail After the 2008 Financial Crisis. To many people, this is the single most frustrating post-crisis question.

Did you know that showering less will save some water—sadly, not millions of gallons that fracking operations use in a day—nor will it keep your water safe from contamination—or your house from exploding

California, privatization, PG&E, investor-owned utilities, energy utilities, fire risk, fire damage, Global Climate Action Summit, public banks, energy prices, consumer fees

Oil companies heat and dry up the planet, power companies start fires on the dried up land – and we pay the bills.

Posted 5 days 20 hours ago
participatory budgeting, citizen decision-making, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Citizen control of spending decisions means communities decide what their city does and does not do with public funds. For 30 years the process has worked in Brazil, and now it's spreading rapidly.

Posted 2 days 22 hours ago
“We just want to be able to take care of ourselves as men and women, in this Department of Corrections,” a strike participant from a South Carolina prison said.Photograph by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg / Getty

Wages for incarcerated workers are typically cents per hour, and several states—Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina—use prisoner labor without paying them at all.

Posted 4 days 21 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street, OWS, Occupy protests, Zuccotti Park, wealth inequality, Occupy anniversary

How a movement that eschewed electoral politics is now showing up everywhere in the 2018 progressive resurgence.

Posted 5 days 20 hours ago
too big to fail, public banks, public banking, Bank of North Dakota, financial crisis

When the next crisis hits, the public will once again be called upon to step in and bail out Wall Street. We need to start seriously preparing an alternative response: public banks.

Posted 5 days 21 hours ago
central banks, U.S. Federal Reserve, Dodd-Frank Act, nationalizing banks, bank bailouts, financial crash

"Central banks buying stocks are effectively nationalizing U.S. corporations just to maintain the illusion that their 'recovery' plan is working."

“We just want to be able to take care of ourselves as men and women, in this Department of Corrections,” a strike participant from a South Carolina prison said.Photograph by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg / Getty

Wages for incarcerated workers are typically cents per hour, and several states—Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina—use prisoner labor without paying them at all.

Occupy Wall Street, OWS, Occupy protests, Zuccotti Park, wealth inequality, Occupy anniversary

How a movement that eschewed electoral politics is now showing up everywhere in the 2018 progressive resurgence.

bank bailouts, criminal executives, bank crimes, foreclosure crisis, subprime mortgages, derivatives market, too big to fail

Here's Why No One Went to Jail After the 2008 Financial Crisis. To many people, this is the single most frustrating post-crisis question.

A 2016 demonstration in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement started five years earlier. (Corinne Segal / pbs.org)

We live in a new feudalism. We have been stripped of political power. Workers are trapped in menial jobs, forced into crippling debt and paid stagnant or declining wages. Where will this end?