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Rubio: Parkland students have 'done more in 5 weeks than has been done in 15 years'

Rubio: Parkland students have 'done more in 5 weeks than has been done in 15 years'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama The Hill's 12:30 Report Rubio taps head of Heritage Action as new chief of staff MORE (R-Fla.) credited the survivors of the deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., with doing more to tackle gun violence in five weeks "than has been done in 15 years."

"They’ve done more in five weeks on gun violence than has been done in 15 years," Rubio told The Guardian. "The parents have come together, all 17, even though they don't always agree. They aren't out there saying, 'Don’t vote for anything unless we have everything.'"

But Rubio also cautioned against setting "unrealistic expectations" for bipartisan compromise on new gun control legislation, and warned that partisan politics could ultimately stall efforts to tackle gun violence.

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"The attitude of total victory, the idea that somehow some of us are going to come up here and get everything we want and just run over the other side — our system is just not set up for that," he said.

"We're creating unrealistic expectations and, in the process, nothing happens," he added. 

Rubio also rejected the idea of a ban on assault weapons, telling The Guardian that such a prohibition would not be effective.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14 left 17 people dead and 14 others injured. But it reignited an intense national debate over gun laws, with students at the school emerging as some of the most vocal proponents for tightening firearms restrictions.

Rubio has faced scrutiny from many of those students, who have raised concerns at the National Rifle Association's contributions to his political campaigns.

His comments to The Guardian came a day before the March for Our Lives, a series of student protests calling for action on gun violence. Those demonstrations are set to take place Saturday, with the epicenter being in Washington.