With U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaking at the Ronald Reagan Dinner of the Pasco Republican Party, Pasco Democrats pounced on an opportunity for a demonstration Tuesday night against Rubio’s stance on gun control and other issues.
About 50 people waved protest signs across the street from the Spartan Manor in New Port Richey before Rubio arrived for the 2103 GOP dinner.
Pasco Democratic Executive Committee and Pasco County National Organization for Women set up the event, along with supporters from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
“Shame on Rubio,” Pasco NOW President Doris Rosen said. “He’s got kids. He votes no for stricter gun controls.”
Rosen was wearing a “Hillary Clinton President 2016” button. Rubio has been mentioned frequently as a front-runner for the GOP nomination for presidency in the 2016 election.
“Over 90 percent of the public feel we need stronger gun control and they vote against it,” Rosen remarked.
“We’re not taking away anybody’s Second Amendment rights,” Rosen continued. “We believe in the Second Amendment. We believe there needs to be some control, some monitoring. And yes, we need better mental health (services). There’s a lot to do, but not with them. They’re not here to help us; they’re here to help themselves.”
“In the last five years, almost 5,000 people have been affected by gun violence in Pasco County,” Pasco Democratic Executive Committee Chair Lynn W. Lindeman said. “Murdered, raped, robbed, and nothing’s being done about it.”
Lindeman believes Republicans are “doing everything they can to promote violence. They did not vote for the Violence Against Women Act (reauthorization) and continue to support that. They’re not voting for background checks.”
Later, Bill Bunting, Pasco GOP state committeeman, said the Pasco Democratic Party is too feeble to rally enough support to stage an event such as the Reagan Day Dinner.