Rubio visits Parkland mass shooting site, sees ‘changes we can make’

7:43 p.m Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 Nation & World
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio meeting Friday night with law enforcement officers who responded to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio visited the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Saturday, including the building where Nikolas Cruz carried out the attack that left 17 people dead.

Rubio was briefed by Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

“It was important for me to be reminded that the school is just a short drive from my home, and important to see a scene that still bears graphic reminders of the deep pain and anger this shooting has caused,” Rubio said.

“I am now more convinced than ever that there are changes we can make that can help prevent or reduce the number of mass shootings in our country. And I am more committed than ever to getting it done,” Rubio said.

Rubio didn’t specify the changes he favors, but in a Senate floor speech Thursday he said he doubts the effectiveness of proposals to restrict weapons like the AR-15 rifle used in the Parkland massacre.

“The problem is that we did that once, and it didn’t work for a lot of reasons,” Rubio said in his Senate speech, referring to an “assault weapons” ban that expired in 2004. “One of them is there is already millions of these on the street. And those things, they last 100 years, and so you could pass a law that makes it hard to get this kind of gun in a new condition. But you’re going to struggle to keep it out of the hands of someone who has decided that’s what they want to use because there are so many of them out there already that would be grandfathered in.”