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A Florida candidate for governor released a campaign ad Tuesday that ties the state’s recent school shooting to its gun laws.
Philip Levine, a Democrat who’s a former two-term mayor of Miami Beach, called the tragedy last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “a wake-up call we can’t ignore.” His ad is the first ad from a candidate in the race to focus on the shooting in Parkland, which left 17 dead.
“When we send our children off to school, we want to know they’re safe,” Levine says in the ad as he steps off a school bus. “But here in Florida, despite 14 school shootings in eight years, we still have some of the weakest gun laws in the nation.”
Levine provides a three-point plan that he suggests will create a “safer Florida.”
“We need reasonable regulations, better background checks and a permanent ban on assault rifles,” he says.
Levine takes aim at Florida’s Legislature in the ad, saying that if it doesn’t address the state’s gun laws, “we will,” referring to local officials in Florida.
In the wake of the shooting last Wednesday, Levine tweeted an emotional video of himself responding to the attack in which he questioned the Legislature’s ability to protect residents from gun violence.
“Have we done everything we can do to make our schools as safe as possible?” Levine asked in that video. “Let your local elected leaders make sure that in their communities we have responsible gun ownerships, so catastrophes like what happened today do not occur again.”
Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who’s now in his second term, is ineligible to run again.