“Your comments this week and those of our president have been pathetically weak,” Guttenberg told Rubio. His daughter, Jamie, was among the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “You and I are now eye to eye. Because I want to like you, look at me and tell me that guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids in this school this week. And look at me and tell me you accept it and you will work with us to do something about guns.”
After Guttenberg’s question, Rubio didn’t immediately answer and instead sought to clarify his statements over the past week in which he’s reaffirmed his support for gun rights while remaining open to incremental measures that would prevent some people from obtaining weapons. “Here’s what I said: The problems that we’re facing here today cannot be solved by gun laws alone.”
Guttenberg interjected, demanding the senator say if guns were responsible for his daughters death.
“Absolutely, of course they were,” Rubio replied. “I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle. I will support the banning of bump stocks. I will support changing our background system.”
Rubio was repeatedly booed during his response, and the jeers continued throughout the night. The arena, packed with more than 7,000 people, erupted in frustration when the senator effectively said he’d continue to accept campaign donations from the National Rifle Association. Rubio has received more than $3.3 million from the NRA over the course of his political career.
As Guttenberg continued to question Rubio, the Republican once again voiced his opposition to legislation that would ban the class of assault-style weapons, including the AR-15, used in last week’s massacre, saying such a ban wouldn’t prevent such shootings from happening. The stance echoed a speech he gave in Congress last Thursday, when he declared that “if someone has decided ‘I’m going to commit this crime,’ they will find a way to get the gun to do it.”
“Sen. Rubio, my daughter, running down the hallway at Marjory Douglas, was shot with an assault weapon, the weapon of choice,” Guttenberg said after Rubio voiced his opposition to such legislation. “It is too easy to get. It is a weapon of war. The fact that you can stand here and can’t say that, I’m sorry.”