During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday to discuss a new bill that would require background checks on all gun purchases, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) argued that President Trump’s favored border wall would make the U.S. safer than background checks and attempted to get the father of a slain Parkland student removed from the hearing.
Gaetz — an ardent Trump supporter — argued that guns are not the problem and suggested the wall would keep violent people out of the U.S.
“If we really cared about safer streets, we would build the wall and secure the border and we would do it post haste,” he said.
Gaetz’s remarks were interrupted by shouts and “boos” from the audience, which included Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver, one of 17 murdered when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida — Gaetz’s home state — last year.
After several shouts from the audience, which included March For Our Lives and other gun control activists, Gaetz asked Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to have protesters removed from the crowd. Nadler said he would give Oliver a warning, though it was unclear what Oliver was shouting.
“Is there a process in the committee whereby the very same people are repeatedly interrupting the time of the members that those people will be asked to depart the committee?” Gaetz asked Nadler, jabbing his finger and pointing at Oliver. “I’d observe that’s three interruptions of my time by the same individual and that the chair is not utilizing his discretion to remove that individual.”
Watch the exchange below:
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