After a gunman killed seventeen students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, many politicians Tweeted out their thoughts and prayers. A couple of Southwest Florida congressmen Tweeted those sentiments, but many people, including constituents, commented that thoughts and prayers aren't enough this time.
U.S. Rep Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL, who represents part of Naples, Tweeted that he is “Outraged” and offered his thoughts to the victims and their families.
Outraged by this horrific act of violence in Parkland. Thankful for the first responders who acted quickly to protect students, faculty, and staff. Keeping the victims and their families in my thoughts as law enforcement continues their investigation.— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) February 14, 2018
But Adam Cota, a Naples resident in Diaz-Balart’s district, responded to the representative’s Tweet, saying his sentiment was “unacceptable”
Congressman — as a member of your district I find your response unacceptable.
Instead of waiting for law enforcement to investigate, why don’t YOU investigate what can be done to end this cycle? Educate us as to what will work if not liberal agenda. Status quo is unacceptable— Adam Cota (@_AdamCota) February 14, 2018
"What I really was hoping for was that he and other politicians would talk about what they could be doing at this point to change things," Cota said. "To see what he could be doing from a policy perspective to make sure that this never happens again."
Subsequent Twitter comments noted that Diaz-Balart has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association. Cota, the parent of two young children, said he’s not bothered by the congressman getting money from the gun group.
"I just want to make sure that he is held accountable for actually doing something about it," he said.
Diaz-Balart didn't respond to WGCU’s request for comment in time for broadcast.
U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican congressman who represents a portion of Florida that includes Venice and North Port , also received campaign money from the NRA and an A rating from them.
After the Valentine’s Day school shooting, he Tweeted “praying for the students, teachers and law enforcement officials.”
Following the news on the terrifying shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and praying for the students, teachers and law enforcement officials.— Tom Rooney (@TomRooney) February 14, 2018
In a statement to WGCU, he wrote “I can’t understand how a kid who everyone said had the capacity to do this can walk right into a school where he was not enrolled, unabated. That is the first thing that very school in Florida needs to address, and they need to do it today."
He ended with “I genuinely do want to be part of a functioning government that can break this cycle of extreme partisanship and inaction.”
He does not address NRA contributions.
For Adam Cota, of Naples, he just wants to not worry when he drops his kids off at school in the morning.
“Unfortunately with something like this happening every couple of weeks that, like many parents, it's always kind of in the back of your mind,” Cota said.
He said the thoughts and prayers are good, but they mean nothing without action.