Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz wants the nation’s schools flooded with guns. He’s so excited about it that he even made the claim—which he quickly retracted—that he has experienced coming under fire.
Gaetz, who once called Haiti a “disgusting” and “deplorable” country, appeared Sunday on MSNBC’s AM Joy with Joy Reid to mindlessly regurgitate National Rifle Association talking points in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. Gaetz, like the NRA and other Republicans, wants to arm teachers to counter mass school shootings, an idea that anyone who’s been in a live–fire situation thinks is ridiculous.
Of course, Gaetz, who once sponsored legislation to speed up death–row executions, has never worked in law enforcement. Nor can he explain how providing weapons to teachers would prevent other mass shootings, such as the one at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas last October. In that attack, hundreds of people were injured and 58 died.
“Have you ever taken live fire, sir?” Reid asked Gaetz, to which the congressman from Okaloosa County responded, “Sure.”
“Have you?” Reid continued. “Has anyone ever shot at you?”
Asked how teachers should be expected to respond to a shooting with guns of their own, Gaetz, who admittedly has never been shot at, deflected by referring to the victims of an attack last year at a congressional baseball practice, including lawmaker Steve Scalise, who was severely injured. It’s unclear how armed teachers would have changed the outcome of that attack.
But Gaetz has never been known for logic or deep thinking. And Reid appropriately treated him like the windbag that he is.