US: Florida congressman Matt Gaetz clashes with Parkland dad at hearing on gun violence - PressFrom - US

USFlorida congressman Matt Gaetz clashes with Parkland dad at hearing on gun violence

06:10  07 february  2019
06:10  07 february  2019 Source:

Parkland student will share the horror of gun violence with Congress

Parkland student will share the horror of gun violence with Congress FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Aalayah Eastmond used a dead classmate to shield herself from a school shooter's bullets. As the gunman fired his AR-15 rifle, she assumed she would die and prayed that a bullet would go through her brain so she wouldn't suffer. Eastmond will relay the horror of gun violence during a congressional hearing Wednesday. Almost a year later, the trauma of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School grips her every day. The 17-year-old senior at Stoneman Douglas said she wants to use the platform she has to highlight that gun violence extends far beyond school shootings like the one that killed 17 people in Parkland.

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Florida congressman Matt Gaetz clashes with Parkland dad at hearing on gun violence© Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) heads up a House Criminal Justice Subcommittee hearing in September 2013.

A Florida congressman clashed with a father who lost his son in the Parkland school shooting as emotions ran high during a congressional hearing on gun violence Wednesday.

Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz drew shouts from Parkland dad Manuel Oliver when he said expanding background checks for gun sales would do nothing to stop murders committed by people who are in the country illegally. A wall on the southern border would, Gaetz said.

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Oliver, who was in the audience with other members of the Parkland community, interrupted Gaetz several times during his remarks.

"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 asked, while pointing his finger at Oliver.

"I would observe that is three interruptions of my time by the same individual and that the chair is not utilizing his discretion to remove that individual," Gaetz added.

Oliver lost his 17-year-old son, Joaquin "Guac" Oliver, in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Parkland parents and gun control advocates interpreted Gaetz's comments as wanting Oliver removed from the meeting. Gaetz told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that wasn't his intention.

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GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to get Parkland parents removed from hearing on gun violence Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) asked that the fathers of two Parkland shooting victims be removed from a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, after they protested his remarks about guns and undocumented immigrants. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Congressman Matt Gaetz . 14,062 likes · 10,378 talking about this. Proud conservative and Northwest Florida Native who is honored to be serving as the Matt Gaetz , a member of the 115th Congress , was recently reelected to a second term. He is a member

On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland , Florida , killing seventeen students and staff members and injuring seventeen others.

"I was trying to point out he kept repeatedly interrupting the committee hearing," said Gaetz, whose district includes Pensacola and the western Panhandle. "I was just noting what was happening for the record."

Gaetz said he didn't know at the time that Oliver had lost a son in the Parkland shooting, but he would have reacted the same way had he known.

"I don't think anybody, regardless of tragic circumstances, can expect to come to a congressional hearing and take it over with a series of interruptions," he said.

Oliver could not be immediately reached for comment, but Fred Guttenberg, another Parkland parent, wrote in a text message that Oliver yelled "that's not true" at Gaetz.

Guttenberg was seated next to Oliver. Guttenberg wrote he too shouted at Gaetz, yelling that the Parkland killer "was an American male."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Democratic chairman of the committee, rebuked the protesters, but he did not order anyone to be removed.

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"It is never permissible for members of the audience to comment or to vociferously object," he said. "This is a hearing for members of Congress and the witnesses. Everyone else is here as an observer."

The House is taking up a bill that would require background checks for all gun sales.

Oliver and Guttenberg also attended Tuesday's State of the Union address at the invitation of Democratic lawmakers. They said they were disappointed President Donald Trump didn't mention the Parkland shooting or gun policy in his speech.

"If you want your murdered son or daughter to be mentioned at SOTU, make sure the killer of your kid is an illegal immigrant," Oliver wrote on Twitter.

In an interview with Local 10 News, Trump said he wasn't aware members of the Parkland community were at the State of the Union.

"I didn't know they were there, so I wish they would've told me they were there, though," Trump told Local 10 News. "It's a great group of people. I could've put it in. I would've put it in. I've been very involved in it. It's an incredible tragedy, and these are things that can be stopped."

Lawmakers also heard emotional testimony from Aalayah Eastmond, a 17-year-old senior at Stoneman Douglas who used a dead classmate to shield herself from the Parkland shooter's bullets.

"Assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines belong on the battlefield - not in our communities," Eastmond said. "My classmates and I have seen firsthand how uniquely lethal these weapons are."

After she was finished speaking, Eastmond was given a standing ovation by the audience, which included members of the March for Our Lives student movement calling for stronger gun laws.

Wednesday's hearing was the first such hearing to focus on gun violence by House Judiciary Committee in eight years.

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at

Florida Panthers, Roberto Luongo Honor Lives Lost in Parkland Shooting One Year Later.
The Florida Panthers took time on Thursday to honor the lives lost in the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., one year before. The shooting, which took place Feb. 14, 2018, took the lives of 17 people. PREWITT: 'It Has to Be More Than This': Sports' Search for More Valuable Gestures After Tragedy The Panthers, who play less than 15 miles from the high school, honored the victims with a special moment of silence before Thursday's game against the Calgary Flames. The @FlaPanthers honor those who were effected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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