May 25 2022
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Jesse Watters Primetime to discuss the latest on the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
On the factors that contribute to tragedies like Uvalde:
“It's not about the ‘how,’ necessarily, but the ‘why’…. [T]hese are people that want to harm people on a mass scale, and the instruments they use, in many cases, are guns. But that sentiment of wanting to hurt people is the one we need to really focus on.
“I don't know if there's a blanket [explanation] for every single one of these [shootings]. I certainly am not a psychologist or a sociologist, but I've read a lot about these things because I want to become informed. The one thing I can tell you is we do have tools available now for risk assessment. It's one of the ways the Secret Service protects presidents. It's not so much about the physical protection alone, it’s that they are able to profile and identify people that they believe pose a threat to a president or a leader and are able to go to them and prevent them from acting. And that same system that is able to identify that, [those] risk assessment protocols exist for things like mass shootings.
“And then the question becomes, can you have tools in place to identify and intervene before people take that next step? And oftentimes that's difficult to do because in the case of a school, for example, we've built up a culture in many places where we don't want to criminalize 16 and 17-year-olds. We don't want law enforcement hanging around the school campus and stigmatizing people.
“But in many of these shootings, I think Las Vegas being one of the exceptions — a guy that we really still don't know too much about the motivation behind that terrible tragedy — but these others are people that didn't just snap from one moment to the next. We'll learn more about this murderer. But we know about the one in Florida. We know about the one in other places. And these are people that for a period of time were headed in this direction and there was nothing in place to catch it and stop it from happening before it got to that point.”
On efforts to compile warning signs from potentially dangerous individuals before tragedy strikes:
“There are programs in place that fund that. And we were able to [enact that programming through the STOP School Violence Act] and continue to fund it every year since we led that effort after [the shooting in] Parkland. It has to be multidisciplinary. You have to have input from all kinds of places. So it might be a law enforcement interaction combined with what a school counselor or teacher is seeing, combined with what a family member or a parent is reporting. And then all of these things come into a central location as opposed to being bifurcated from each other.
“It's a really useful tool, and it's one that we should use more. Because unfortunately, there's someone out there right now that's going to be the next school shooter, because they're watching this stuff on TV, and it's going to inspire them to act. It’s a terrible thing.”