Over 24,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Senator Marco Rubio, a key player in the Republican party’s attempt to attract Latino voters, denounce the NRA for what they are calling are “racist” and “derogatory” remarks and return the almost $5000 he has received from them in political contributions.
An op-ed by the National Rifle Association’s CEO Wayne LaPierre has set off activists furious over his characterization that “Latin American gangs” have taken over cities and have threatened the lives of upstanding Americans.
In response, Senator Rubio’s office released this statement: “Senator Rubio is proud of the support he receives from NRA members around the country, and he strongly believes in the Second Amendment.”
In an article written for the conservative news website Daily Caller, LaPierre issues a call to arms of sorts for gun owners and asks them to resist government efforts to restrict the Second Amendment by joining and donating to the NRA. He writes that Americans have been threatened by criminals who stream over an unprotected U.S. – Mexico Border.
“The border today remains porous not only to people seeking jobs in the U.S., but to criminals whose jobs are murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping,” writes LaPierre.
Activists are demanding that Sen. Rubio return the $4,950 in contributions the NRA donated to his campaign retirement fund in 2010 based on their investigation of campaign finance reports.
“If Senator Rubio really wants to be able to bring Latinos to the party and expand the base, he can’t do it while being hand in hand with organizations like this,” says Gabe Ortiz, 28, founder of the petition and blogger for AmericaBLOG. Ortiz notes that almost 3,000 signers of the petition are from Rubio’s home state of Florida.
Rubio, who delivered a response to the State of the Union in Spanish and was recently named by TIME magazine as the savior of the GOP, has criticized the Obama administration’s efforts to pass new gun control measures saying the President lacks the “political courage” to “admit” his true feelings about the Second Amendment.