Less than two weeks after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Gaetz tweeted, "The @NRA is an organization that takes 100% of the blame for the conduct of 0% of its members." Then, in May, he accepted a $2,500 campaign donation from the organization. To no one's surprise, the NRA endorsed Gaetz, a Republican who represents the Pensacola area, for Congress last July.
On Wednesday, however, Gaetz took his gun-rights fervor to another level when he tried to get Manuel Oliver, father of Parkland victim Joaquin "Guac" Oliver, kicked out of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on preventing gun violence.
"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?" Gaetz said while aggressively pointing his finger at Oliver and the other parents in the crowd.
"I’d observe three interruptions of my time by the same individual and that the chair is not utilizing its discretion to remove that individual," he added.
The dispute began when Gaetz, a Hollywood native, stated that a border wall, not background checks, would prevent gun violence. Oliver and Fred Guttenberg, another Parkland father, shouted at Gaetz in protest, according to Mother Jones reporter Kara Voght.
Here is the video of @RepMattGaetz trying to get the father of a student killed in Parkland, FL (@manueloliver00) THROWN OUT of a @HouseJudiciary hearing on reducing gun violence.— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) February 6, 2019
This is beyond despicable. pic.twitter.com/YZF8EGW3hP
Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat who chairs the committee, let the parents off with a warning.
As @mattgaetz says walls to keep out immigrants, not background checks, will address gun violence, the Parkland parents are *NOT* having it. @fred_guttenberg and @manueloliver00, who lost their children in Parkland, screamed as Gaetz spoke. Capitol police almost booted them.— Kara Voght (@karavoght) February 6, 2019
As of now, neither Oliver nor Guttenberg has commented on social media about Gaetz's outburst.
There is nothing Matt Gaetz won't do to maximize his chances of being asked to appear on one or more of that evening's Fox News primetime shows— Jay Willis (@jaywillis) February 6, 2019