Ex-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, hosting a Florida rally pushing “gun sense” candidates, hailed the unprecedented student-led activism that followed the Parkland high school mass school shooting.
The billionaire businessman and deep-pocketed gun-reform advocate — whose Everytown for Gun Safety PAC pledged $500,000 to Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum — sat in silence as the parents of two teens killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School preceded his address with their own emotional remarks at the Friday event, the Miami Herald reported.
“I don’t know how anyone follows both of you,” said Bloomberg after the gut-wrenching remarks of parents Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Oliver, who both lost children in the Feb. 14 slaughter.
“This is the most difficult thing I could ever do because nobody is going to have the same feelings that you do.”
Bloomberg — a possible 2020 presidential candidate — also mentioned visiting with survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting, but said the Marjory Stoneman Douglas slaughter shooting has been at the top of his mind, both because Feb. 14 is his birthday and because of the groundswell of student activism in its wake.
“Every year, I’ve got a reason to think about it,” he said. “I’ll think about you, I’ll try to remember the names or not, but I’ll remember what happened and I’ll remember that we said we were going to do something about it,” Bloomberg said, the Herald reported. “And hopefully each year we will have come closer to our goal.”
He also attended a Democratic party fundraiser in West Palm Beach on Saturday, and was set to visit a Jewish center in Pembroke Pines on Sunday, the Herald reported.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Sari Kaufman, Casey Sherman and Daniel Tabares also addressed the crowd, highlighting the work they have done locally to support the March for Our Lives and to register voters, the Herald reported.
Oliver and Guttenberg began advocacy groups on parallel tracks as the student-led March for Our Lives movement, the Herald reported.
Their goal is to crush the “f***ing gun lobby” and defeat the National Rifle Association while electing pro-gun reform candidates, Oliver said, the Herald reported.
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