A week after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as the country continues to debate gun control, CNN held a town hall meeting with students and teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. During the extraordinary two-hour event, members of the Parkland community asked questions on a range of gun control-related topics to Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch, who represents the district the school shooting took place in. National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also answered questions in a separate Q&A session.
The interactions were often raw and searching as the students, teachers, and parents, still grieving from losing friends and classmates, asked the politicians why they were put in this situation in the first place and what they planned to do to prevent future school shootings.
Some of the most impassioned appeals and compelling interactions were with Sen. Rubio, who bore the brunt of the crowd’s anger over his party’s unshakable support for the nearly unassailable rights of gun owners. Rubio didn’t bring up the NRA until directly asked and didn’t waver from his underlying support for gun rights, but he appeared far more willing to support several more restrictive gun control measures than he or the GOP has previously been willing to consider.
National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel followed Rubio, Nelson, and Deutch.