Stop What You Are Doing and Turn On the CNN Town Hall With Survivors of the Parkland Shooting

At a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, students and parents alike grilled senators from Marco Rubio to Bill Nelson in search of answers to go about gun reform in the aftermath of last week’s shooting at a south Florida high school. The forum comes as student activists flock to the Florida legislature to lobby for gun control. 

At one point, Fred Gutenberg, whose daughter Jamie was one of 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas High School slammed Rubio’s and the president’s response to the tragedy as “pathetically weak,” a line welcomed with an ovation from the crowd of more than 7,000. 

Rubio, who said that people under 18 years old shouldn’t own an assault rifle, argued that an outright ban on assault weapons would cause the government to “literally ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America,” drawing applause from the crowd.

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said on Wednesday night that he planned to introduce a ban on assault rifles next week. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced that she would introduce a bill that would raise the age limit of those who wanted to purchase assault rifles to 21, an idea that has already drawn support across the aisle from Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. Rubio said on Wednesday night he would endorse legislation that did such that. 

Earlier in the evening, Broward County Public Schools superintendent Robert Runcie told CNN’s audience that teachers didn’t need to be armed, a response it appears to Trump’s suggestion hours earlier that teachers should be able to carry firearms in school for protection if they received special training. “You know what we need,” Runcie told the applauding crowd. “We need to arm our teachers with more money in their pocket.”

When asked about Trump’s comments at the White House about arming teachers, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that it was a “terrible idea.” 

In one particularly remarkable moment Rubio appeared to change his position on high capacity magazines, telling the crowd he was now open to banning them.

Rubio pointedly refused however to promise not to take any NRA money. 


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