Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sen. Marco Rubio gives full-throated gun defense in NRA speech

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a full-throated defense of gun ownership Friday, telling a National Rifle Association audience that firearms are central to achieving the American Dream.

The dream, Rubio, R-Fla., said, is not just a measure of financial prosperity but the ability to raise a family in a home that is stable, safe and secure. That, in turn, rests on the ability to possess a firearm for self-protection, the lawmaker said.

"The safety of our families is not something people should hope government can provide," Rubio told delegates to the NRA's annual convention, held this year in Indianapolis.

Rubio was one of several prospective 2016 presidential hopefuls to address the gathering, a ritual courtship for GOP contenders. Others on the bill included former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the runner-up for the 2012 Republican nomination; and Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mike Pence of Indiana.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire recorded videos that were played for the crowd of more than 2,000 inside Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts.

Among those appearing, Rubio may have had the most at stake in his roughly 10-minute speech. Unlike others with solid "A" ratings from the NRA, the Florida senator has gotten B and B-plus marks for being seen as insufficiently wedded to the pro-gun cause.

In his remarks Friday, Rubio was unstinting in his defense of gun owners, calling them some of the most law-abiding citizens in the country and condemning "anti-gun zealots" for using mass shootings — he did not mention any incidents by name — to pursue their goals.

Gun owners "wept and mourned just like the rest of the country" in the wake of the tragedies, Rubio said, but gun policy needs to be guided "by common sense" and not emotionalism.

"Making it harder to own a gun" is not just a waste of time, he said, but unconstitutional.

Two other Republicans considered possible presidential candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, didn't attend.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio says gun policy shouldn’t be guided by emotionalism. He was one of several possible presidential candidates to speak Friday at the NRA’s annual convention.

Getty Images

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio says gun policy shouldn’t be guided by emotionalism. He was one of several possible presidential candidates to speak Friday at the NRA’s annual convention.

Sen. Marco Rubio gives full-throated gun defense in NRA speech 04/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.