Parkland Survivor Drags Marco Rubio On Accepting NRA Donations

by Thea Glassman
Image via CNN

Marco Rubio taken to task by teens on NRA donations

Something pretty amazing happened last night. During a CNN Town Hall meeting with Marco Rubio, survivors from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting spoke directly to their senator about gun control. For the first time in what feels like forever, a “thoughts and prayers” politician had to directly answer questions about our country’s gun problem — and it was deeply, deeply satisfying to watch.

Perhaps the most stunning moment of the night? School shooting survivor Cameron Kasky asking Rubio if he would no longer accept donations from the NRA.

In case you haven’t heard about Kasky yet — he’s a high schooler who founded the Never Again movement, which aims to put a screeching halt on gun violence. He took to the stage last night, microphone in hand, and asked Rubio directly about his relationship with the NRA (the senator has received $9,900 from the organization).

“Can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?” Kasky asked, as the crowd cheered.

Rubio, unfortunately and completely unsurprisingly, waffled over the question and refused to say to whether or not he would accept the donations. He also said a bunch of stuff about people buying into his “agenda,” which was just generally obtuse.

“In the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?” Kasky asked.

Rubio responded: “I think in the name of 17 people, I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this from getting a gun.”

Okay, so obviously we’re not really getting anywhere when it comes to the NRA’s stronghold on politics. However, can we please take a moment to appreciate the fact that this high school student eloquently and bravely stood shoulder to shoulder with Rubio, and debated him like a pro? I’m pretty much drowning in emotion and pride. And so was the rest of the internet.

Thank you, thank you, Cameron Kasky and the rest of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors for taking a brave, strong stand against gun violence (and wiping the floor with politicians who aren’t doing squat). It’s hard to have a lot of hope and optimism right now, but these teens are delivering so much light.