A gun rights advocate says Democrats hoping to energize their base after a tragic school shooting may be energizing gun owners instead.
"I think the gun owners will understand: the Democrats are the party that will take their semi-automatic away," declares Mike Hammond of Gun Owners of America.
In the wake of last week's murder of 17 people at a Florida high school, angry students have marched on the state capitol in Tallahassee and President Donald Trump held a "listening session" with students and parents affected by school shootings.
But it may have been a raucous town-hall style debate, sponsored by CNN, that helps make Hammond's case about so-called "gun grabbers" on the Left.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) endured a hostile audience at the debate, where one student compared him to the Parkland school shooter.
The unruly audience screamed "Murderer!" at NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, when she attempted to explain how the NRA has pushed for a better screening process to keep firearms from the hands of mentally ill people.
News outlets on the left and right took notice when Rubio warned the audience that banning the AR-15 rifle could lead to a ban on all semi-auto rifles in the U.S.
"You would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that's sold in America," Rubio said.
The audience, however, responded with a roar of approval, and hollers and whistles, as Rubio witnessed the response.
"Fair enough. Fair enough," he responded.
The audience's response made news headlines at The Hill, Daily Wire, Townhall, and CNN, among others.
Reacting to the audience, Rubio asked Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida) if he supports banning other semi-automatic rifles to which Deutch said he would vote to ban all "weapons of war" whose purpose is to kill other people.
"This stacked CNN show trial on behalf of full gun bans," columnist Ben Shapiro wrote on Twitter, "isn't going to play the way gun control advocates think."
Meanwhile, President Trump's listening session shows he understands his role as president of all Americans, says Second Amendment Foundation spokesman Dave Workman. But listening to concerns doesn't mean acting on them, he adds.
"I don't really think that Congress is going to ban a whole class of firearms," Workman tells OneNewsNow.
Millions of Americans own AR-15 rifles or a variant of it, he says, making it the most popular rifle in the U.S.
Hammond tells OneNewsNow that there are approximately 10 million AR-15 rifles in circulation, many in the hands or gun owners already.
"And when they realize that," he predicts, "I think that it's going to have an impact on elections, which is exactly the opposite of what the gun grabbers anticipate."
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