Anti-gun groups blast Rubio for doing what voters want

Anti-gun groups blast Rubio for doing what voters want
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

Sen. Marco Rubio has represented Florida for a little while now. After 12 years in office, Florida voters know what they’re getting from him, more or less.

That’s not universally good, it must be said, but one thing Floridians do like about Rubio is that he’s not anti-Second Amendment.

Yet now, gun control groups are trying to blast him for that.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has taken the sixth-most money from the gun lobby among all U.S. Senators, according to a group advocating for more gun regulation. And Democrats took the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting this week to call him out on it.

Rubio falls between Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Joni Ernst of Iowa in the total donations he’s received from the National Rifle Association. That’s according to the nonprofit Brady: United Against Gun Violence, formerly known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The nonprofit bears the name of Jim Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary shot in a 1981 presidential assassination attempt.

The group found that Rubio has received $3.3 million in National Rifle Association donations over his career. That’s enough that former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is asking who Rubio really works for. She hosted an online news conference Wednesday with three other gun control activists, including two mothers whose children were among those hiding in closets as a gunman shot his way through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“He is failing Florida,” argued Mucarsel-Powell, a senior advisor for Giffords, an advocacy organization founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was injured in a 2011 shooting. “He failed us when he decided not to support passing a universal background check bill in the Senate.”

Except that most Florida voters actually agree with that stance. How is he failing the voters when he’s doing precisely what the majority want him to do?

Oh, I know, Mucarsel-Powell will probably point to some polls that say most people support universal background checks. In response, I’ll point to far more recent polls that suggest otherwise. I’ll also point out one that shows midterm voters–where Rubio will be running for reelection–don’t deem gun control a priority.

In other words, if this is the hill Giffords wants to die on, they’re welcome to it. Far be it from me to interrupt my opponent when they’re making a mistake.

See, what people like the Giffords crowd don’t understand is that most Florida voters actually like the Second Amendment. They support it and want to see it flourish.

They’re not interested in new regulations like universal background checks.

As such, complaining that Rubio gets support from groups that an awful lot of Floridians support doesn’t exactly sound like a winning strategy. You might as well make a big deal about how he like puppies or something equally stupid.

Then again, I’ve noticed an awful lot of anti-gun folks live in a perpetual echo chamber, largely of their own creation. They honestly don’t understand that their proposals just aren’t as popular as they seem to think.

I suspect they’ll be in for a rude awakening come November.