CNN’s Florida townhall meeting on gun control was a productive step in the right direction, producing a revealing dialogue about guns and politics, suggests Evan Osnos of The New Yorker. The father of a girl who died in last week’s shooting confronted Mario Rubio over his gun rights advocacy and acceptance of donations from the N.R.A. Under pressure, Rubio made important concessions on this issue, accepting the need to limit bump stocks and raise the minimum age to buy a gun. The townhall created an important and highly necessary conversation between gun control advocates and people who oppose this view.
The Florida townhall event organized by CNN was a closed-minded effort by the left to trumpet its anti-gun ideals without any interest in hearing the other side, argues David Harsanyi of The Federalist. Marco Rubio and others who explained how complicated it really is to reduce mass shootings were booed. Most people present didn’t want to hear anything other than banning semi-automatic weapons, which goes against the Second Amendment. Children who survived the tragedy were paraded in front of the cameras to spread the organizers’ anti-gun message. This was not the dialogue we need to address our gun death issue.