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In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) has drawn intense ire and scorn for his close ties to the NRA. But the outrage may be having an effect, as Rubio has come out in favor of a law that may actually make a difference.
The proposal Rubio is endorsing on Twitter is alternately called “red flag” laws, or gun-violence restraining orders, where concerned family, friends, or law enforcement officers can file an order with a court that prevents someone from purchasing and/or accessing guns if they are deemed a risk to themselves or others.
The law is currently only on the books in five states, including California, which passed legislation in the wake of the shooting in Santa Barbara, where Elliot Rodger killed three people and shot 1o despite having a history of seeking psychiatric treatment.
The Giffords Law Center calls it a “lifesaving tool that can prevent gun tragedies before they occur.”
A number of mass shooters had histories of violent and disturbing behavior witnessed by others, but they weren’t prevented from purchasing firearms under current laws.
Over the weekend, Rubio also defended himself against attacks for his words in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
Another deliberately distorted & inflammatory headline:Rubio: Gun laws wouldn't have prevented Parkland https://t.co/sL3oeXBtCb 1/3— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 16, 2018
But they choose to downplay what I said next :"does not mean that we therefore raise our hands & say there's nothing we can do” 2/3— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 16, 2018
Rubio also attacked the media for saying he was weak on gun control legislation, pointing to specific actions he’d taken in recent years.
Many in media love to use “fact-checkers” in articles.Unless of course the result contradicts their narrative. https://t.co/0KVoImAg3B 1/6— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2018
Media never mentions I co-sponsored Safe Communities Safe Schools Act providing $ to report mental illness to background check system 2/6— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2018
And media never mentions that 16 Democrats also voted against so called “Assault Weapons Ban” in 2013 for the same reasons I did. 5/6— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2018
Media never mentions these things b/c would contradict narrative they want,that evil Republicans in pocket of NRA are blocking gun laws 6/6— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2018
On Saturday, Democrats rallied around a bill that had been introduced back in May to give federal grants to help states enact gun violence restraining orders. Fifty Democrats signed on to co-sponsor the bill.
Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), who authored the bill with others, said a GVRO “could have been a useful tool” in Parkland to “address the behavior and temporarily remove guns away from this individual.”
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]