“Yes.” That’s all Sen. Marco Rubio needed to say when Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky asked him if he would reject campaign donations from the National Rifle Association. Instead, Rubio ducked, covered and refused to acknowledge his responsibility in Feb. 14’s Parkland massacre.

Along with Americans all around the country who care about our children’s safety, I am appalled by the complacency and hypocrisy of the elected officials who merely mourn the murder of 17 people, yet make no effort to prevent these senseless tragedies in the future.

Worse yet, some on the right have argued the solution is to arm teachers. As a former public school teacher I already knew this, but anyone who has read the news about the Dalton High School shooting by a teacher in Georgia can tell you that forcing educators to carry weapons is a downright foolish proposition.

With 70 percent of Americans favoring common-sense gun laws, according to a recent CNN poll, and overwhelming public support in a Politico/Morning Consult survey for an assault weapons ban, it seems strange that there is little political will to make it happen. That is, until you look at who is truly electing these “pro-gun” politicians. Sen. Rubio has taken over $3.3 million in donations from the NRA since beginning his political career. So, it’s no wonder he continues to put Wayne LaPierre ahead of the lives of Parkland students and American citizens.

The reason why we haven’t implemented common-sense gun regulations or other immensely popular ideas like Medicare for All, ending Citizens United and divesting from fossil fuels boils down to one simple truth: Corporations have taken control of our government.

Only when we reject all politicians with big money behind them can we expect any meaningful progress on guns and anything else.

Zak Ringelstein

Democratic candidate. U.S. Senate


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