In another coward move, the Republican-led Florida state House on Tuesday rejected a ban on many semiautomatic guns and large capacity magazines as dozens of survivors of last week’s school shooting who traveled the State Capitol look in disbelief, CNN reports.
According to the news network:
“Lawmakers voted down a motion to consider the ban during a session that opened with a prayer for the 17 people killed by a former student last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The vote in the Republican-dominated body was 36-71.
Stoneman Douglas students in the gallery of the Capitol during the vote appeared stunned.”
Under the rallying cry #NeverAgain, dozens of students and staff who survived the Florida school shooting departed earlier Tuesday for the Capitol, where they hope to speak with lawmakers about school safety and gun control. Many were there when the vote took place. Others were on their way to the Capitol when they learned of the legislative move.
Filled with grieve consternation, several students expressed their disappointment to CNN:
“It was just so heartbreaking to see how many (voters’) names were up there, especially after it was my school,” Sheryl Acquaroli, a 16-year-old junior from Stoneman Douglas, who was crying, later told “Anderson Cooper 360˚.” “It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say no.”
Spencer Blum, one of her schoolmates, said he felt like lawmakers weren’t representing him and other survivors of the shooting.
“That’s unacceptable,” he said of the vote, adding later: “It shows that they don’t care about us.”
House Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Miami) invoked the Parkland shooting in requesting that HB 219 — which would ban AR-15 rifles and other guns defined as “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines — be moved from committee to the House floor for questions, debate and a vote.
“I ask that you keep this bill and the conversation about the solution to combat mass shootings alive,” McGhee, Democratic ranking member on the Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee, told the House before the vote.
But Republicans rejected the bill, leaving students stunned.