Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) disrupted a hearing on gun safety legislation to level accusations at two parents of Parkland shooting victims while making bogus claims about a wall stopping gun violence.
The hearing was convened to discuss provisions of H.R. 8, a bill which would require robust background checks for gun sales conducted online and at gun shows.
When Rep. Matt Gaetz began to speak, he started pounding on undocumented immigrants, claiming that everything that H.R. 8 proposes to solve could simply be done by building Trump's wall on the southern border.
"I hope we do not forget the pain, and anguish, and sense of loss felt by those all over the country who have been the victims of violence at the hands of illegal aliens," Gaetz said. "[H.R. 8] would not have stopped many of the circumstances I raised, but a wall, a barrier on the Southern border may have, and that's what we're fighting for."
Hearing observers Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Oliver were not having it, protesting loudly, rules or no rules. No wall would change the fact that Nikolas Cruz was an American citizen with a gun and a grudge, after all.
For his part, Gaetz showed no compassion and certainly no patience for the men's loss, instead demanding they be ejected. Chairman Jerry Nadler declined that invitation, which sparked another tantrum from Gaetz.
Pointing his finger at the two parents, Gaetz once again tried to get them tossed. "I'd observe three interruptions of my time by the same individual, and the chair is not exercising his discretion to remove that individual," he said.
Later, Guttenberg told NPR what he and Oliver had said to Gaetz in the hearing: "Manny told Gaetz his comments were not true, and I said our loved ones were killed by an American male."
Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen later spent part of his time rebutting Gaetz' comments, noting a number of mass shootings which were not the result of undocumented immigrants, but regular American citizens with access to guns.
Voice dripping with sarcasm, Cohen said, "I got confused. I thought illegal aliens, when they got in, they went straight to a taco shop and started killing people. But that doesn't happen?"
No, it doesn't happen. The gun violence isn't being committed by undocumented immigrants. It's being committed by hateful men, generally, who have a grudge and a gun. Just last month, women were slaughtered in Gaetz' home state of Florida by a man who apparently saw women as worthless beings. That man was not an immigrant. He was a white dude who hates women. And he apparently obtained his gun legally. What's next? Will he use the "Stand Your Ground" law as a defense against the scary women he's hated forever?
Matt Gaetz is a big Trump cheerleader and little more. His conduct in this hearing was shameful and wrong especially toward the Parkland parents.
The clip of Gaetz is above. We are doing our best to bring you these live streams as they happen, too, as we did earlier today.
UPDATE: Fred Guttenberg went after the coward Gaetz on Twitter after Gaetz tweeted about how the wall will cure everything that ails this nation: