Meanwhile, House Democrats convened a hearing on gun violence Wednesday—the first in more than eight years, since before the Sandy Hook school massacre of 2012. The hearing examined House Resolution 8, a bill to expand background checks to include all firearms purchases. The proceedings grew contentious after Florida Republican Congressmember Matt Gaetz—an ally of President Trump—argued that undocumented immigrants pose more of a threat to the U.S. than gun violence.
Rep. Matt Gaetz: “HR 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.”
Manuel Oliver: “[inaudible]”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler: “Gentleman will suspend.”
Congressmember Gaetz’s comments sparked protests in the committee room by Manuel Oliver and Fred Guttenberg, two parents who lost children to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Gaetz responded to their repeated protests by demanding the parents be banned from the hearing. Click to see our interviews with Manuel Oliver and Fred Guttenberg.