Senator Marco Rubio has been criticized for his Christian faith in a series of distasteful placards held by anti-gun protestors during the vast ‘March for our Lives’ anti-gun protests. One particularly disturbing sign depicted Rubio with a bloody cross painted across his forehead and read: “‘Catholic’ Senator Marco Rubio #AshBloodyWednesday #NRAb***h #Kidkiller #ENOUGH”
Senator Rubio is in favor of certain gun reforms, but has made it clear that he does not share all the views of those students who seek radical changes to America’s gun laws. “While I do not agree with all of the solutions they propose, I respect their views and recognize that many Americans support certain gun bans,” the senator said in a statement on Saturday’s marches.
Today many are peacefully exercising their #1A right to march for gun ban. Many support gun ban. But many others see it as infringement of #2A that won’t prevent shootings. Protest is good way of making a point,but making a change will require both sides finding common ground
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 24, 2018
Those against gun bans “want to prevent mass shootings,” Rubio added, but they “view banning guns as an infringement on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens that ultimately will not prevent these tragedies.”
My full statement on today's marches: pic.twitter.com/ZpRNotSbyP
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 24, 2018
That did not go down well with the March For Our Lives participants and supporters, many of whom personally attacked Rubio for his faith. Some even cited Pope Francis’ comments at the weekend in support of the attacks. Francis congratulated the students on their protest.
“The temptation to silence young people has always existed,” Pope Francis said in his Sunday address at St Peters Square, as reported by the Independent. “There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. ”
“Dear young people, you have it in you to shout,” he declared.
“It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: will you cry out?”
The young people in the crowd responded by shouting, “Yes!”
“Did you listen to the Pope’s #PalmSunday Sermon today?” wrote poet Kelly Russell Agodon on Twitter. “Rubio stands against the Catholic Church’s values. As a Catholic, I’m not offended by the sign, I’m offended by Rubio. Pope Francis is a supporter of the students and speaking out.”
Writer Stephen Gutowski, who brought attention to the attack on Rubio via a widely shared tweet, hit back:
“I don’t think the Pope would approve of drawing a blood cross on Rubio’s forehead but justify this trash all you want,” he wrote.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) March 24, 2018
Students at the March for our Lives event also handed out signs that read “$1.05.” Vox’s Alexia Fernandez Campbell explained the significance of this amount:
“The figure is their calculation of what each Florida student is worth to the Republican senator; they came up with it by dividing the amount the National Rifle Association has spent to support Rubio’s campaigns, $3.3 million, by the 3.1 million public and private students in the state.”
Student protest leader, David Hogg, wasted no time in laying into Marco Rubio over the support he’s received from the NRA:
“I’m going to start off by putting this price tag right here as a reminder for you guys to know how much Marco Rubio took for every students’ life in Florida,” Hogg declared at the beginning of his speech as he tied the “$1.05” orange tag to the microphone.
But despite the criticism leveled at Rubio, in an apparent show of journalistic integrity, CNN appeared to correct its reports that sought to “mischaracterize” Senator Rubio as a politician who is completely disinterested in pushing for any change in US gun laws.
“In a recent interview, I mischaracterized Senator Rubio as not being focused on gun violence since Parkland. I failed to mention that there’s been a lot he’s been doing behind the scenes,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said on a live newscast. “Senator Rubio has met and called victims and victims’ families.”
Rubio has also been involved in imposing gun-buying restrictions on those who suffer from mental health conditions, and has called for the age limit to be raised for the purchasing of certain weapons.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 25, 2018
Parkland survivor, Kyle Kashuv, continues to be shunned from the spotlight of the mainstream media due to his support for the Second Amendment. Today, he sought to bring the conversation back to the gross failures of the Broward County Sheriff’s office in failing to prevent the Florida massacre.
Coward of Broward need to be held accountable, yet not a single one of my fellow students mentioned it EVEN ONCE! Pathetic!
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 26, 2018