There were three billboards outside Miami on Friday.
“Slaughtered in school,” read the first billboard.
“And still no gun control?” asked the second.
“How come, Marco Rubio?” inquired the third.
Each of the mobile billboards — plastered onto the side of trucks, and sponsored by the activist group Avaaz — was parked near the Doral office of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., CNN reports.
The billboards (a reference to the award-winning movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) appeared just two days after a Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 dead. That death toll made the shooting the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut killed 26 in 2012.
Between those two deadly shootings, though, Congress has done little to tighten gun laws. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting, Democrats in Congress have called for restrictions on the kind of assault rifle that police say the suspected gunman in the Parkland shooting used.
But Republicans, including Rubio, have argued that legislation blocking the purchase of those guns wouldn’t have stopped the tragedy. And that’s the sentiment the three billboards are going after, Avaaz said.
“Today we take the streets asking ourselves: how come, Rubio?” Avaaz President Emma Ruby-Sachs asked in a statement, The Hill reports. “The Senator has taken fire across the country for his toothless response to the shooting, calling it ‘inexplicable.’ We call that ‘inexcusable.’ ”
Directly and indirectly, Rubio has received $3.3 million from gun rights groups, and the National Rifle Association gave him an A+ rating during his 2016 reelection campaign, the Miami Herald has reported.
“The Second Amendment is not the cause of this,” Rubio told the Miami Herald in an emotional interview after the shooting. “The cause of this is individuals who happen to abuse that liberty and that constitutional right for the purposes of conducting these atrocities.”
Rubio also argued that the U.S. ban on assault rifles in the 1990s was ineffective, saying in a Senate floor speech that one of the reasons it didn’t work is his estimation is because there are “already millions of these on the street. And those things, they last 100 years.”
But Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat who represents Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, disagreed in an interview with the Herald. Wasserman Schultz said that putting obstacles in the path of those trying to buy guns to commit atrocities would at least make it harder for them.
Wasserman Schultz also told the Herald that electing a new Congress in 2018 is the easiest way to find a solution to gun violence.
“When 30 children were killed, nothing happened. When a colleague of ours was shot in the head, nothing happened. When a colleague of ours was shot on the baseball field, nothing happened,” Wasserman Schultz said. “So elections are part of the key to this and election results are part of the key to solving this problem.”