Marco Rubio’s attempt to depict a full assault weapons ban as some kind of worst case scenario failed miserably Wednesday night, when the audience at a televised CNN town hall went absolutely wild for the idea instead.
“Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action,” hosted by Jake Tapper, featured friends and parents of victims of the deadly mass shooting last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. confronting an array of speakers on the issue. Rubio appeared onstage alongside fellow Florida senator Bill Nelson, and throughout the talk his responses were by and large very poorly received by the crowd.
At one point Rubio was asked whether he would support stringent background checks on gun purchases. He referred back to an earlier question about banning certain types of assault rifles, explaining that in his opinion such measures are useless.
“It’s not the loopholes,” Rubio said, “it’s the problem that once you start looking at how easy it is to get around it you would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle.”
At that, the crowd erupted into deafening cheers, with audible cries of “yes” heard above the roar.
Rubio for his part acknowledged that the crowd disagreed with him, but told them that lawmakers aren’t going to do it. “Fair enough. Fair enough. That is a valid position to hold. But my colleagues do not support banning every semi-automatic rifle sold in America” Rubio said, prompting loud booing from the crowd.
Watch the exchange below.
Rubio says: "you would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle" as if it were a bad thing….
Instead, crowd goes wild. Oops. pic.twitter.com/cWi6uzK0gW
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) February 22, 2018