The tragic school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 dead, has fueled the Democratic Party’s calls for a ban on “assault weapons,” and for some Republican legislators facing tough re-election challenges in 2018, to waiver on their pro-gun bona fides.
Senator Rubio (R), who attended last week CNN town hall regarding the shooting, stood his ground on guns, but hedged a bit when he said he would consider language to legislation that could ban high capacity magazines.
Florida’s other U.S. Senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, call for an across the board ban on high capacity magazines and “assault weapons,” as did Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch.
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Now freshman Congressman Brian Mast (R), a veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, has decided to break ranks with the NRA and his more pro-gun colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives by calling for a temporary ban on the purchase of AR-15 weapons.
Appearing on the CBS Sunday morning political TV show, “Face the Nation,” Mast said he took the use of the “assault weapon” in the school shooting personal because he used a similar weapon while deployed oversease.
“For me personally, it pains me to know that I went out there willing to defend my country—willing to give everything—with almost the exact same weapon that is used to go out there, and unfortunately, kill children here in Parkland. And I think there’s a very real opportunity here for response and for action,” Rep. Mast said on Face The Nation. “What I love about my President is that he is a man of action. And I can tell you that as veterans and soldiers, when we see a chance to save life: we don’t hesitate, we don’t have a conversation, we go out there and do it. I think that’s what the travel ban has been all about. It’s been about saving lives in our community and in our country. Let’s take that exact same model and apply it right now to this situation. Let’s put a pause right now….It made sense in the case of terrorists coming into this country. I think it should make sense in looking at guns.”
Mast, who is expected to face a strong Democratic challenge in this year’s general mid-term election, took to twitter to express support for stronger gun control measures, asking President Trump and the congress to support the gun ban.
His move to install a gun ban could keep some of the most ardent pro-gun Republicans and Independents in Mast’s congressional district to stay home on election night.
.@realDonaldTrump, I know you are a man of action. In Army, when I saw chance to save life, I didn't hesitate: we worked together to get it done. Let's use your temporary travel ban model in same way now: to save lives by halting sale of AR-15 until we pass long-term solution. pic.twitter.com/hqBS9Cg8jx
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) February 25, 2018
My rifle in the Army was very similar to the AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon used to kill at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. I cannot support the primary weapon I used to defend our people being used to kill children I swore to defend. https://t.co/4UNhAaulGu
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) February 23, 2018