During today’s House hearing on #HR8, Rep. Matt Gaetz said building “the wall” would be more effective than background checks. He then got into an argument with @manueloliver00, whose son Joaquin was killed in Parkland, and tried to have him ejected. pic.twitter.com/8KjC8r9BWB
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 6, 2019
Courtesy of HuffPo:
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) lashed out Wednesday at a parent of one of the victims of last year’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, in an attempt to eject him from the U.S. House chambers for speaking out of turn.
Gaetz drew complaints from the audience as he tried to argue that violence caused by undocumented immigrants is worse than the toll of gun violence in the United States (guns killed 40,000 people last year, compared with one rough estimate of 400 homicides attributed to illegal immigrants). Gaetz said that funding a border wall would help curb both problems. He was speaking at a hearing on House Resolution 8, which would require a background check for every firearm sale.
“I hope that we’ll deal with all the drivers of violence,” he said. “The greatest driver of violence — in the circumstances that I indicated — was not the firearm. It’s the fact that we have an immigration system that allows people to come here violently …”
He was cut off by shouts and grumbles from the audience, but one voice in particular rose above the rest: That of Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. He sat next to Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was also killed in the shooting, as they aired their displeasure at Gaetz’s comments.
“Manny stood up and said, ‘That’s a lie. That’s not true,’ and I yelled out that our children were killed by an American male,” Guttenberg told HuffPost. “Mr. Gaetz didn’t care for the truth and made an inquiry to see if we could be kicked out.”
In a fit of frustration, Gaetz pointed his finger directly at Oliver as he inquired whether House Judiciary Chair Jarrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) could eject him from the hearing.
It needs to be pointed out that this is the first Congressional hearing on gun violence since not only the Parkland school shooting, but also the Sandy Hook school shootings and all of the mass shootings in between, and that not one of them was caused by an illegal immigrant.
What Rep. Gaetz said is not only completely false but it is disrespectful to the families of the those killed in these mass shootings.
And then to try and have this grieving father thrown out is just despicable.