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After a gunman killed 17 students and teachers in the tragic Florida school shooting last Wednesday, protestors called on Sen. Marco Rubio to enforce gun control, finding inspiration from the Oscar-nominated film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
In the film, a mother (played by Frances McDormand) uses large signs to berate police for failing to catch her daughter’s killer. The online activist group Avaaz organized the Billboards-inspired campaign, which was spotted Friday near the senator’s office in Doral, Florida, and in downtown Miami and Little Havana. “Slaughtered in school,” “And still no gun control?,” “How come, Marco Rubio?” read the message, sprawled across the three mobile billboards.
“Florida has notoriously lax gun laws, and Rubio, who is supported by the NRA, has never attempted to reform them,” Avaaz’s deputy director, Emma Ruby-Sachs, told CNN of the campaign. “The senator ranks as one of the highest recipients of NRA contributions and has received an A+ rating from the NRA.”
Following news of the shooting, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor, arguing that gun restrictions would not have prevented the mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. According to The New York Times, Rubio has reportedly received $3.3 million in contributions from the National Rifle Association as of October 2017.
“I understand. I really do. You read in the newspaper that they used a certain kind of gun, and therefore let’s make it harder to get those kinds of guns” Rubio said to Congress. “I don’t have some sort of de facto religious objection to that or some ideological commitment to that, per se,” the Florida Republican said.
“If we do something, it should be something that works. And the struggle up to this point has been that most of the proposals that have been offered would not have prevented not just yesterday’s tragedy, but any of those in recent history,” Rubio added. “Just because these proposals would not have prevented these does not mean that we therefore raise our hands and say, ‘Therefore, there’s nothing we can do.’ ”
“Today citizens are asking: How come Rubio refuses to protect our children?” Ruby-Sachs told CNN. “The senator has taken fire across the country for his toothless response to the shooting, calling it ‘inexplicable.’ We called [that] ‘inexcusable.’ “
A Three Billboards-inspired protest was also staged after the Grenfell Tower apartment fire in London.
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