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In this video,

(0:05) https://youtu.be/Lo52BObqCds

“Senator Rubio. . .I need to ask two things of you. Number one, Chris Grady, can you stand up? This is my friend who's going into the military. I need you to tell him he's going to live to make it to serve our country. And then we'll get to the other one."

"Absolutely," Rubio replied. "Not only will you live to serve our country, you, and you, and all of you will have a chance to change our country. Change not just our laws but the way we talk about our laws. So absolutely."

Here, this student asks the senator to tell his friend that he’ll live to make it to serve our country. And I don’t understand what it means, especially the part live to.

Does “live” here mean just “to be alive” as we all use in real life? no special meaning? Then what he wants to say here is, “his friend will not going to die from a gun shooting(Because this meeting was held after the shooting accident?) and he’s going to be alive.”? I’m not sure why he’s saying this, I mean, I don’t know what’s implied in his remark.

And also the meaning and role of “to”, which comes next to “live”. Is “to” here used to indicate a “purpose”?

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This all has to do with the recent mass shooting in Florida, the student asking the question in the video uses a strange construction to force reflection. I actually needed to watch it to understand the context of the question because it is not clear English. But that is the point of the question, to make the listener think of the nature of gun violence in America - that safety is not assured as a student or that it may even be safer to be in the military than a student in school.

  • Thanks a lot, but I'm still not quite sure. I do know the background information of this accident and what I don't understand is the meaning of "live to make it to ...". So the implied meaning of what he said is that "it may even be safer to be in the military than a school student", and he wants to make us think about it, ok. But how did you figure out that that is the meaning of the sentence? As a non-native, I still don't understand what exactly "live" means here and why this verb was used, nor the role of "to". (live to). Could you explain a little bit more? – dbwlsld Mar 10 '18 at 5:35
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    Sure thing! Starting with a simpler example in conversation, "why do you live?" Answered by "I live to travel." In your example the verb phrase is just more complex, "live to make it to," as in make it to the next day, just survive. Does that help? – Doarn Mar 10 '18 at 5:42
  • so these two tos here(live "to", and make it "to"), are both used to indicate a purpose? Then why is he asking the senator this question(or force him to tell him)? Does he mean that "his friend could die before he goes to the military, if politicians don't try to change the law and prevent these kind of accidents, thus shooting happens again before his friend serves the US? So that's why he's saying "he's going to make it to"? As in "he will not die (from a gun shooting) and survive, and go to the military?" – dbwlsld Mar 10 '18 at 5:58
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    Yup, I think you have it exactly. Welcome to American politics! – Doarn Mar 10 '18 at 6:01

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