Republicans and Rep. Matt Gaetz fire back at new gun control bill

The House of Representatives passed H.R 6538, a gun control bill that is designed to establish an active shooter alert system, drawing dissent from 168 Republicans, including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and one Democrat.

The bill aims to give the federal government more authority in helping state and local governments when there are active shooters, similarly to Amber alert systems.

The bill was passed swiftly in a 260-169 vote, with 49 Republicans joining in the majority. The bill was sponsored by David Cicilline (D-RI) and Fred Upton (R-MI). Rep. Don Kind (D-WI) was the one “nay” Democrat vote. According to Bloomberg, Cicilline made a statement in the House chamber prior to voting:

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“Active shooter emergencies have become so common that we barely even register them anymore, we’ve become numb to them. We cannot let this become normal.”

House Republicans opposed the measure, referring to the bill as an overreach by the federal government. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said:

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“This bill is about Democrat fear-mongering that guns are an ever-present threat, and we cannot be safe until big government rounds up every last one of them.”

Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida’s Fort Walton Beach delivered a passionate series of remarks denouncing the bill.

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Instead of honoring safe, responsible gun owners, Rep. Gaetz said the Democrats instead want to “stigmatize and scare people about guns,” according to The Free Press. Gaetz went on the express more dissent with the bill, saying “This bill is like yelling ‘fire’ in a movie theater, except fire is in another theater across the street.”

Gaetz also made remarks regarding the bill’s vagueness on the most important elements, including how to properly define the geographical areas that would give off or restrict the alert. And in areas in which alerts have gone off, such as Uvalde, Texas, Gaetz pointed out that action was still not taken.

“Some of our cities have shootings every day, where multiple people are injured. And often this happens in the jurisdictions with the most intense and liberty-depriving gun control,” said Gaetz.

Gaetz also raised the question about what constitutes an “active shooter” in another statement, arguing “A drive-by in an inner city? A spousal murder in the suburbs? If you live in or near Democrat-run cities, it sounds like your phone will likely be buzzing off the hook.”

Per Rep. Gaetz, the bill defines what an active shooter is as a person “determined to pose an active, imminent threat to the people in a populated area.”

The Florida Rep. believed that by the time an alert is sent, it would be too late to do any good, claiming it would be in fact dangerous to send alerts about events that may or may not have happened 30 minutes ago.

Last week, in a Fourth of July show in Orlando, 100,000 people gathered at Lake Eola. Just six minutes in what sounded like gunfire was heard, “people started unexpectedly running, cowering, and jumping over bushes, which led to a chain-reaction of people yelling and running away from the parks and into the nearby streets,” Fox 35 reported on Monday.

As a result of the chaos, about a dozen people faced injuries.

Gaetz then asked rhetorically why House Democrats want to “use the power of government to bombard your cellphone with active-shooter alerts 24 hours a day, seven days a week?”

“They want you to be afraid of the Second Amendment,” Gaetz said. “They want you to be afraid of responsible gun ownership.”

 

 

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