Things That Matter

People Got To Confront Marco Rubio About Gun Laws At A Town Hall In Florida

Floridians got a chance to speak with elected officials last night at a CNN hosted town hall about the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Jake Tapper moderated the town hall and audience members were able to ask questions directly to Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Bill Nelson, and National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch. Emotions ran high as survivors of the shooting and parents of teenagers killed in the attack put pressure on Sen. Rubio and Loesch about their desire for gun law reform. Here’s some of what went down.

Shooting survivor Cameron Kasky wanted to know if Sen. Marco Rubio would stop accepting NRA money.

Kasky asked: “So Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?”

“Number one, the positions I hold on these issues of the second amendment I’ve held since the day entered office in the city of West Miami as an elected official,” Sen. Rubio told Kasky. “Number two, no. 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.And I do support any law that would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer. And that’s why I support the things that I have stood for and fought for during my time here.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, confronted the senator about his stance on gun control.

“Senator Rubio, I just listened to your opening and thank you. I want to like you. Here’s the problem. And, I’m a brutally honest person, so I’m just going to say it up front,” Guttenberg told Sen. Rubio at the town hall. “When I like you, you know it and when I’m pissed at you, you know it. Your comments this week, and those of our president, have been pathetically weak. So, you and I are now eye to eye. Because I want to like you. Look at me and tell me 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.”

“I’m saying that the problems that we’re facing here today cannot be solved by gun laws alone,” Sen. Rubio told Guttenberg. “And I’m going to tell you what we’ve done already and what I hope we’ll do moving forward.”

Guttenberg pressed for him to acknowledge the use of guns to “hunt” the teenagers at the school and Sen. Rubio did. However, when asked about whether or not he would support legislation to limit access to such guns, Sen. Rubio aired on the side of not restricting access to all assault weapons.

“So let me be honest with you about that one. If I believe that that law would have prevented this from happening I would support it. But I want to explain to you why it would not,” Sen. Rubio told Guttenberg. He added: “I do believe what you’re saying is true. I believe that someone like this individual and anyone like him shouldn’t have any gun. Not this gun, any gun. But I want to explain to you for a moment the problem with the law that they call the Assault Weapon’s Ban. And if you’ll indulge me for a minute to explain to you the problem. First you have to define what it is. If you look at the law and it’s definition, it basically bans 200 models of gun, about 220 specific models of gun.”

The crowd interrupted with applause as Guttenberg vocalized his desire to see those exact changes happen. Guttenberg asked Sen. Rubio if he was planning to support a law that would get the first 200 guns banned then work up to the full list of assault weapons. Sen. Rubio then pointed to similar gun laws in New York and California claiming they have done nothing to stop the sale and use of these weapons and spoke about how people have found their ways around the laws.

Emma Gonzalez, the young woman who has sparked the movement, was on the stage and asked NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch her own questions.

“The shooter at our school obtained weapons that he used on us legally,” Gonzalez started. “Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic weapons and the modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic like bump stocks?”

Loesch answered Gonzalez’ question by discussing the mental state of the shooter and her position that people with that mentality should not have access to guns. Yet, Gonzalez was not satisfied with the answer she was giving.

“I think I’m gonna interrupt you real quick and remind you that the question is actually,” Gonzales interjected. “Do you believe it should be harder to obtain these semi-automatic weapons and modifications to make them fully automatic, such as bump stocks?”

“I’m talking for them [the NRA]. These are the 5 million members that I’m here representing,” Loesch said. “That is what that group’s position has been on that. So, that answers your question, and they spoke about that before the president made a move and they spoke about that before Attorney General Jeff Sessions made an announcement about that, too.”

Twitter continued the conversation on social media using #StudentsStandUp.

The students of the Parkland shooting have started a movement to call on politicians to create better gun laws that protect civilians called Never Again.

People are praising the efforts of the teenagers to exact change since the deadly shooting.

People were also giving Sen. Rubio credit for getting out there and facing the children and parents impacted by the shooting.

And many people who watched the town hall felt hopeful about the future.


READ: This Teenager Was Shot 5 Times During The Florida School Shooting While Protecting A Room Full Of People

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Emma González Is In A New Documentary About Gun Control Called ‘Us Kids’

Fierce

Emma González Is In A New Documentary About Gun Control Called ‘Us Kids’

ANGELA WEISS / Getty

Two years ago in 2018, American activist Emma Gonzalez marked the headline of every news organization. As a victim of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland Florida, Gonzalez garnered national attention on February 17, 2018, after giving an 11-minute speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the days, weeks, months, and years since delivering her speech, Gonzalez has made waves with her activism.

Now, the activist who is now in college is the star of a documentary directed by Kim A. Snyder called Us Kids.

Us Kids, which received a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this past January is available to be screened on the Alamo Drafthouse virtual screening platform.

Us Kids is available to be screen on Alamo on Demand on October 30.

The film follows the stories of the students behind Never Again MSD. The student-led organization is a group advocating for regulations that work to prevent gun violence and includes Latino activists like Emma González and Samantha Fuentes. Both teens are survivors of the shooting that took place Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florid where 17 students and staff members were killed by a gunman.

In a review about the film, Variety writes that it “primarily celebrates that resilient, focused energy from teenagers who proved perhaps surprisingly articulate as well as passionate in thrusting themselves into a politicized spotlight. It’s more interested in their personalities and personal experiences than in the specific political issues wrestled with. Like ‘Newtown,’ this sometimes results in a repetitious directorial expression of empathy, particularly in the realm of inspirational montages set to pop music. Still, the subjects are duly admirable for their poise and intelligence as Snyder’s camera follows them over 18 months, in which they go from being “normal-ass kids doing normal-ass things” to a high-profile movement’s leading spokespeople.”

The trailer for the documentary was released on Oct. 22 and introduces the survivors of the shooting.

Fuentes, who was an 18-year-old senior at the time of the shooting, speaks about her experience recalling that “I was thinking about how we were going to get out if he was going to come back, was I going to die.”

“As compelling as Hogg and González are (and as touching as their friendship is — they’re each other’s biggest boosters), it might’ve been nice if ‘Us Kids’ had itself strayed farther from the mainstream media narrative in emphasizing less-familiar faces. Considerable screen time is dedicated to Samantha Fuentes, who was hit by bullets but lived while close friend Nick Dworet died next to her,” Variety explains. “She provides a relatable perspective in being occasionally less-than-composed in the public glare (we see her upchuck at the podium a couple times). Still, there are peers frequently glimpsed in the background who never seem to get a word in, while Snyder keeps the established, semi-reluctant ‘stars’ front and center.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Things That Matter

President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on behalf of the Trump administration. Since then hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have lived in uncertainty. President Donald Trump tried to rewrite history at his town hall event Oct. 15.

President Donald Trump blamed the end of DACA on Covid during his town hall.

The truth is that President Trump’s administration attempted to end DACA in 2017. Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the attorney general at the time and made the announcement in a press conference. Since then, the Trump administration has continued to advance a lawsuit to terminate the program. DACA allows for hundreds of thousands of adults to work and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Long before Covid, the Trump administration was told to resume DACA as intended.

Instead, the Trump administration has violated federal orders and continued to restrict DACA and those who can apply. The Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against DACA meaning that the lower court’s ruling stood. The ruling was that the Trump administration had to reinstate the program in full. However, the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case allowing for the administration to come back.

President Trump also claimed that DACA recipients and Dreamers are not that same.

Another falsehood by the president at the town hall. DACA recipients are indeed Dreamers. The term Dreamers does apply to DACA recipients who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The legislation would legally enshrine the protections of DACA and was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in 2001. Over the course of 19 years, the piece of legislation has not moved despite the overwhelming support from the American public.

People watching the town hall were quick to call out President Trump.

People are not letting President Trump get away with trying to rewrite history about DACA. His administration is the one trying to strip DACA recipients of their protections. At one point, President Trump tried using DACA recipients as political pawns in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall.

Voters are calling on other voters to help protect the program in November.

The two nominees have very different DACA plans. President Trump has and will continue to try to take away the protections from DACA recipients. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to offer citizenship to DACA recipients, something American voters support. DACA is a wildly popular program that gives some of the most vulnerable people in our society a chance to live a normal life.

READ: The Trump Administration Has Officially Rescinded DACA. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com