Little Marco and his big problem

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Today, news broke that Senator Marco Rubio is going to be introducing gun legislation of which we do not yet know the full details, but I am assuming will, in the end, look like he is trying to be part of a solution to a major problem. However, that major problem is not gun violence. In the eyes of Senator Rubio, the problem is how to convince one group of people he is trying to accomplish something on gun violence while in the eyes of another group, the NRA and their legion of supporters, failing to do anything that hurts their love of guns.

You see, when a senator like Rubio gets a taste of the national spotlight like he did when he ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, he rarely loses that taste. Rubio still his eyes set on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and knows if he can be seen as one of the people who helped quell the gun violence that plagues our public schools, he stands to profit with voters, especially the teens who are busting his balls now, but are too young to vote.

Rubio has done the math and knows if he satisfies this group, he stands to have them as loyal supporters for many years to come. They will help ease the loss of the gun vote he could suffer, but if this is indeed a turning point in our history, the number of gun owners may be headed toward near extinction as today’s teens age over the coming decades. As more gun owners age, they will inevitably care more about their Social Security and health care than their guns at a time when today’s teens become the next generation of parents and leaders.

Senator Rubio is not up for reelection until 2022 at which time the 15 to 18-year-old kids who are refusing to remain quiet over gun control will be able to vote. In Florida, where elections are often too close to call, they will literally be able to make or break Marco’s political future. Should Trump find a way to get reelected in 2020, Rubio could be in a perfect position to succeed him in 2024 if young voters across this nation see him as a savior who ended school violence.

His problem is he is not likely to garner much, if any, NRA support or the support of gun owners if he is viewed as a conservative who infringed on their Second Amendment rights. Even if his measure goes down in a ball of flames, he is still likely to be viewed this way within his own state in 2022 making it damn near impossible for him to even consider another senatorial run. He will have lost both the youth vote and the pro-gun vote causing his political aspirations to effectively be over.

This dilemma Rubio finds himself in is exactly why we do not see anything get done of significance with gun violence. Until we have about 35 states that happen to have a mass shooting at a public school all within the same week, not much will get accomplished. I doubt seriously Rubio introduces any gun measure if Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School never had a mass shooting. Instead, the problem he faces falls in the lap of some other Republican senator from another state on the receiving end of a mass shooting.

Heck, even Trump can see the writing on the wall. He has to find a way to pull up his poll numbers if he is going to stand a chance in his reelection bid in 2020, which is precisely why he is willing to move on gun control. On the national level, he sees a fair trade off of losing the gun vote for the sick and tired of gun violence vote (has a nice ring, huh?).

We already know the NRA is not going to budge on their beliefs. It’s safe to say today’s teens are not going to give an inch either. So who does a guy like Rubio hitch his wagon to when he still stands to have a long political future if he plays his cards right?

Trump will do whatever he has to in order to hold on to power for another four years. However, Rubio has the potential to be a major player in Washington, D.C. for decades to come should he desire. However, for this to happen, he has to negotiate his way through some very treacherous waters in the coming weeks. Perhaps this will result in a ground swell of pressure for other elected leaders like him and we get more than just improved gun control laws, we get elected leaders who are forced to choose between what the public wants and the lobbyists’ money.

For now, Rubio looks to be the first politician who is forced to decide. Are those dark circles under Little Marco’s eyes?

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