Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Jamie in the massacre laid into the Republican, telling him "Your comments this week and that of our president have been pathetically weak", to a huge round of applause. "Look at me and tell me: Guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids in this school this week".
"What you're going to have to do, this young generation, we need to get it done, and you're going to get it done: Vote in people who feel the same way you do", he said. "It's a weapon of war", he blasted. "Matter of fact, I bet we can get people in here to give you exactly as much money as the NRA would have". The senator said he would support a law that raised the required age of gun ownership, the banning of bump stocks and changes to the background check system.
The last concession was one he said has come to him from what he had learned from law enforcement briefings about what happened inside the high school last week. "But suffice it to say, I believe that there will be evidence that at a key moment in this incident three or four people, three or four people might be alive today because of something that this deranged killer did, had to do".
Rubio responded that the problems laid bare by the shooting rampage "cannot be solved by gun laws alone", drawing jeering whistles from the crowd. Rubio appeared to anticipate the question, but he still didn't give Kasky the answer that he desired.
While Rubio also told a teacher that he didn't support President Trump's call to possibly arm teachers in classrooms-and said he would reconsider his position on limiting the size of magazine clips when asked by a student who had just enrolled in the military-he faced significant pushback during his conversation with student activist Cameron Kasky.
He was questioned about gun control and his support for the National Rifle Association.
Ashley Kurth, a culinary instructor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who sheltered almost 70 students during the shooting, questioned whether she will be expected to receive firearm training and keep a bullet-proof vest in the classroom.
Democratic candidate for governor Chris King was among two busloads of people who drove up from Orlando and St. Petersburg for an anti-gun rally. "We are here to fight and we are not going down until we make a change". Rick Scott declined to participate. "You guys love it", Dana Loesch said Thursday.
Republican legislative leaders in Florida say they will consider legislation that will likely call for raising the age limit to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 and increasing funding for mental health programs and school resource officers, the police assigned to specific schools.