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…”
Just to name a few… pic.twitter.com/jzsPnT0lel
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) May 29, 2022
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.
Many were quick to trash his claims, including Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg.
It’s kids who are being hunted. If you want an AR-15 fine but you should need a l license, thorough training, detailed documentation of ammunition and where the weapon is and stored, a in-depth background check. Come on- these are kids. Let’s find some common ground
— David Hogg 🌻 (@davidhogg111) May 29, 2022
If you need an AR-15 to go hog hunting, or any kind of hunting, then you are too untrained to hunt. If you cannot hit a target without an AR-15 then you are too untrained. If you need it for self defense then you are too untrained. Trained gun owners don’t need AR-15’s.
— Mr. Spock 🖖 (Commentary) (@SpockResists) May 29, 2022
Using an automatic weapon to hunt is not hunting. That’s slaughtering & blowing something to pieces & wasting food. Automatic weapons of war are for just that, war. You need a weapon with 15 to 30 rounds or more to protect yourself from what exactly? Zombie apocalypse?
— Angi Buhr 🇺🇦 🇺🇲 🌊😷💉🌈🏴☠️🦙 (@mousears7) May 29, 2022
All of which can be done without military-grade weaponry.
Be honest Matt. Americans have been successfully doing all those things for hundreds of years before the AR15 and it’s ilk. The long gun finally became too dangerous, that is the problem.
— Once Republican – 🇺🇦 (@oncerepublican) May 29, 2022
Matt, obviously you never do these things because an AR-15 is the wrong weapon for all 3 of these. Especially self defense, where it’s not only cumbersome but likely to spray bystanders with bullets.
— Jesse Hare (@RancidGinger) May 29, 2022
If hunting is your answer than you have no business hunting because a real hunter doesn’t need a weapon that fires multiple rounds to take down their prey. Hunters pride themselves on their marksmanship and ability to not obliterate their kill. They go for a single kill shot
— pamarrington (@pamarrington7) May 29, 2022
What a meaningless reason. Prioritizing this over children’s safety is irresponsible.
— Kevin ☕️🎶 (@KevinSixx13) May 29, 2022
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.
Target sport: I use a .22 (10 round capacity)
Self defense: I use a 9mm or my .45 (8 round capacity)
Hog hunting: haven’t been yet, but would probably go with my 300 win mag (4 round capacity)
No need to use an AR with a high capacity mag for any of these activities.
— Kyle (@1kyleshorten) May 29, 2022
Still do not need an assault rifle for ANY of these reasons. I am a gun owner and there is no reason on this earth I need an assault rifle. NONE!
— Mary Bruno (@MaryBruno_) May 29, 2022
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.”
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.
— Annette Taddeo (She/Her/Ella) (@Annette_Taddeo) May 27, 2022