Many students at the March for Our Lives rallies across the country were wearing a price tag that read $1.05. The reason? That’s how much they say each student is worth to Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. The organizers of the march say they got the number by calculating the amount the National Rifle Association donated to Rubio and dividing it by the number of students in Florida.
“So, this is how much we’re worth to the Florida government,” explained Stoneman Douglas freshman Lauren Hogg. “It’s our price tag.” At a Feb. 21 town hall event on gun violence, Rubio unashamedly defended accepting money from the NRA. “There’s money on both sides of every issue in America,” Rubio said. “I will always accept the help of anyone who agrees with my agenda.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Sarah Chadwick directly addressed Rubio during her speech at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. “This here is a dollar and five cents,” she said, holding up the price tag. “When you take 3,140,167—the number of students enrolled in Florida schools—and divide by $3,303,355—the amount of money Marco Rubio has received from the National Rifle Association, it comes out to a dollar and five cents. Is that all we’re worth to these politicians? A dollar and five cents? Was $17.85 all it cost you that day, Mr. Rubio? Well I say, one life is worth more than all the guns in America.”
Rubio issued a statement Saturday in which he clearly demonstrates that he doesn’t understand the movement that was born in his state. “While I do not agree with all of the solutions they propose, I respect their views and recognize that many Americans support certain gun bans,” Rubio said in a horrific simplification of what the March for Our Lives protesters were demanding. “However, many other Americans do not support a gun ban.” The patronizing tone got stronger as the statement continued: “While protests are a legitimate way of making a point, in our system of government, making a change requires finding common ground with those who hold opposing views.”