Students Take to the Stage on Gun Control

            In the midst of the aftermath and grief that comes with another school shooting in America, are the voices of survivors, students, and teachers speaking out to create change. On February 18th, a former student opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 teachers and teens in one of the worst mass shootings to date. In the past days and weeks following this massacre, students and faculty of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have let their voices be heard, in demanding stricter gun laws to put an end to mass shootings in America.  

           

            One week after the shooting, members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High community took to the stage- quite literally- in a televised CNN town hall meeting.  Republican Senator Marco Rubio was questioned heavily by the students, staff and family members of those killed in the Florida shooting. Quite the stir and cheers from the crowd were the strong, courageous statements made by many. In Her Campus Bucknell's desire to continue this conversation on gun control, we have recapped the following important and monumental moments from this compelling CNN segment.

 

            The crowd went wild when a student asked Rubio a simple, yet extremely important, question: "Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?" While attempting to dodge the question and distract the audience from having to answer, Rubio showed the importance placed on campaign funding (regardless of who or where they come from) for every politician, not just himself. A sad reality, but one that is unfortunately well known in this country.

         But that wasn't the only tough question or statement brought towards Rubio that night. The father of a student killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting spoke out against Rubio when he stated that: "Your comments this week and those of our president have been pathetically weak." Regardless of this harsh, but extremely valid statement, this father looked directly at Rubio in asking that he help to do something about guns. Rubio responded to this call for help with a softening stance on gun control and with his support to raise the age limit from 18 to 21 for those wanting to purchase assault rifles. Such a stance is unusual for Rubio, as the NRA has solidly endorsed him for years due to his promoting and defending of the right to keep and bear arms.

            As the lone republican to attend the town hall meeting (after President Trump declined the invitation to attend), Rubio's remarks showed the headway that is beginning to surface in the wake of the recent Florida shooting. Regardless of such hopeful statements and sentiments, the conversation regarding gun control in America will continue, as the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High lead the way towards reform.