just … no

Matt Gaetz lists his reasons why civilians “need” AR-15 rifles

Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz (Photo: C-SPAN)

The tragic shooting that unfolded in Uvalde, Texas, last week, which resulted in 19 elementary school kids and two of their teachers being killed, is prompting some people to rethink their attitudes towards guns.

Not Matt Gaetz.

Yesterday, someone on Twitter asked Gaetz to explain, “Why do civilians need AR-15? Honest question.”

Gaetz replied, saying, “Target sport, self defense, hog hunting, Just to name a few…”

The shooter in Uvalde used a semiautomatic, AR-15-style gun. The military version of the weapon is designed to kill people quickly and in large numbers. Advocates for more restrictive gun laws say there are no recreational purposes for such a gun.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton introduced a ban on such weapons. Mass shootings in the US subsequently fell. The ban was overturned in 2004 and shootings began rising again, as did sales of AR-15 style guns.

Florida Rep. Gaetz, who fancies himself something of a defense expert judging on the way he gleefully attempts to ridicule senior military figures in his role on the House Armed Services committee, perhaps knows something about AR-15s that others don’t.

Related: WATCH: Matt Gaetz thought he could get one over on the military. He was wrong.

Many were quick to trash his claims, including Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg.

In his Twitter bio, David Weissman, the man who posed the question to Gaetz, says he’s a military vet. Gaetz has no military background. Even other gun owners questioned Gaetz’s knowledge on the issue.

Related: Matt Gaetz’s latest tweet backfires spectacularly

Meanwhile, another lawmaker in Florida saw her own tweet on the issue of school shootings go viral. Annette Taddeo is a Democratic Senator who’s running in the state’s gubernatorial election this year.

An opponent of the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, Taddeo posed a question that resounded with many. It’s had nearly 300,000 likes at the time of writing.

“I’m just curious why it’s age-appropriate for kids k-5 to learn about hiding under desks and not that sometimes people have two dads.”