Matt Gaetz’s attitude should not be tolerated at a meeting about HR-8 again

Thais Guerra

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)

Matt Gaetz is an unprofessional and insensitive politician who only has an agenda of his own to follow, with no respect for Manuel Oliver, a Parkland parent whom he [tried to dismiss] during a meeting discussing HR-8, an idea for a potential bill regarding universal background checks. The House Committee on the Judiciary held the meeting in Washington D.C. on Feb. 6 discussing the introduced idea. Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver, was invited to watch the meeting.


When it was Gaetz’s opportunity to speak, he decided to mention Trump’s wall plans instead of addressing gun violence.

Gaetz claims that universal background checks will not stop violence on the streets. According to him, the wall is the solution to this issue as it would keep out the illegal citizens crossing the southern border, who are apparently the ones committing the crimes he has seen in the country.

These comments angered Oliver, as he came from Venezuela to America with his wife for a better life for his son.

Oliver interrupted the meeting with angry comments three times. The audience was told that they were there to observe, not comment. After Oliver was silenced the third time, Gaetz proceeded to point at Oliver and asked the chair of the committee if a person in the audience interrupts the discussion aren’t they supposed to be asked to leave according to the rules, implying that Manuel Oliver should have been kicked out for his input.

The anger coming from Oliver is understandable. Oliver, who came from Venezuela for a better life, lost his son in America, the place that was supposed to give his family opportunity, not take it.

While yes, some illegal aliens commit crimes, Gaetz decided to discuss an irrelevant agenda.

In reality, gun violence comes in many shapes and forms. Gun violence can be involved in domestic violence, mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and more.

Violence at the border is only one aspect of gun violence. It is wrong for Gaetz to classify and stereotype those who come to America as dangerous because, in reality, anyone- no matter their background- can be capable of horrible violence.

The mass shootings in schools such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Columbine, Santa Fe, and more were committed by Native-born citizens, not illegal aliens

According to a study by the Cato Institute using figures from Texas in 2015, for every 100,000 residents in a subpopulation only 899 illegal immigrants committed crimes and 1,797 native-born American committed crimes. That’s almost 1,000 native-born more Americans committing crimes than illegal immigrants.

In addition, according to the Vice President for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, the vast majority of immigrants in federal prison are there because of illegal entry into the country and illegal entry after removal.

In an interview CNN following the HR 8 meeting, Gaetz claimed that 1 in every 5 people that the federal government charged with murder is an illegal alien.

However, according to the 2017 U.S. Commission Data from federal courts, that statement is false. The numbers decreased from 20 percent out of 72 people sentenced for murder in federal court to 6.9 percent out of 84 people sentenced for murder in federal court.

Gaetz clearly has his own agenda and that clearly is to support the NRA, who funded him 1,000 dollars during the 2016 election according to Orlando Weekly.

He should not be a representative of Florida, especially in front of the parents of victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. He cannot keep quiet about the wall and focus on the problem at hand which is gun violence.

It is not right for Gaetz to try to distract the people from the problem at hand with hurtful, insensitive stereotyping and false statistics.

Matt Gaetz needs to realize the number of people dying every day from gun violence by native-born citizens and support in fixing the problem or he’ll be replaced by somebody else in the next election.