Republican representative for Florida and NRA cheerleader Matt Gaetz tried to get the father of a boy killed in the Parkland shooting kicked out of a hearing about gun violence.
The hearing, which was taking place at a House of Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, was looking into House Resolution 8, that would require universal background checks for gun purchases, reports The Week.
Unsurprisingly, Gaetz derided the proposal and attempted to present an argument for why it would be less effective than the border wall as a way of stopping gun violence.
In an attempt to argue his case, he said:
HR 8 would not have stopped many of the circumstances I raised, but a wall, a barrier would have and that’s what we’re fighting for.
At this point, Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin “Guac” Oliver was killed in the Parkland school shooting, couldn't contain himself and jumped to his feet in protest.
Speaking up, he interjected:
None of the shooters were that!
However, Gaetz continued:
The greater driver of violence in the circumstances that I indicated was not the firearm, it was the fact that we have an immigration system that allows people to come here violently.
At this point, there was another interjection. This time, from Democratic Representative David Cicilline. In exasperation, he said:
Is there any committee rules that prevents a member of Congress from reciting false statements to the committee hearing that are unsupported by the evidence … or are members of Congress entitled to just make things up in support of specious arguments?
Gaetz then attempted to get Oliver ejected from the hearing.
Is there a process in the committee whereby if the very same people are repeatedly interrupting the time of the members that those people will be asked to depart the committee?
When he was unsuccessful a second time, he repeated his call for Oliver to be removed:
I’d observe that’s three interruptions by the same individual and that the chair is not utilizing his discretion to remove that individual.
Needless to say, Gaetz's argument is completely fabricated and not based in fact. Statistics show that the death toll caused by undocumented immigrants is significantly less than that caused by gun violence: in 2018, guns killed 40,000 people in the United States, whilst undocumented migrants led to the death of 400 people, reports the Huffington Post.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, another father of a victim of the Parkland shooting, Fred Guttenberg, who was also present at the hearing, said:
I found what he did, to treat what happened to our families that way, it’s disgusting, despicable and vile.
But I’m actually thrilled Mr. Gaetz acted like Mr. Gaetz. I think it was wonderful for the American people to see who he is as a person.
This is the kind of behavior that got us to where we are — where 40k per year are dying from guns.