A survivor of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history was kicked out of a House Judiciary Committee meeting about gun control Wednesday after interrupting a Republican lawmaker who said some citizens need assault weapons so they can defend themselves against the “invasion” of immigrants.
“You’re reiterating the points of mass shooters in their manifestos,” David Hogg, a gun control activist who rose to prominence as a vocal survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting, stood up and shouted during the meeting Wednesday. “The shooter in my high school: antisemitic, anti-Black, and racist. The shooter in El Paso described it as an ‘invasion.’”
A 40-second clip of Hogg’s outburst and escort out of the room was caught on cellphone video and has more than 2 million views on Twitter.
Hogg’s comments came in response to Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, who argued that Americans who live within 10 miles of the border need assault weapons because of the dangers they face from Mexican citizens who are crossing into the U.S. and “pose a danger or threat.”
“The reality is it is an invasion of our southern border,” Biggs said, according to The Hill.
“Guess what, those guns are coming from the United States, they aren’t coming from Mexico. Sir, you are perpetuating violence,” Hogg said as a security guard grabbed him by the arm and led him to the door. “Stop these things now.”
As Hogg was being escorted out of the room, at least one person in the gallery can be heard saying, “Go David.”
Fearmongering around the southern border has been a major component of the “great replacement theory” pedaled by hard-right Republicans and championed by some individuals who’ve carried out massacres. The shooter in the Buffalo supermarket massacre last May, for example, cited the theory as one of the ideologies that inspired him in his screed posted online.
Lawmakers were gathered in the room to discuss Democrats’ proposal to ban assault weapons like the ones used in so many mass shootings over the last two decades. This year alone, AR-15-style rifles were used to kill three dozen people, including children, in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Highland Park, Chicago.
In the shooting Hogg survived in Parkland, Florida, a gunman also used an AR-15-style weapon to murder 17 people at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who was on the committee discussing the proposed bill, acknowledged Hogg’s comments shortly after he was led out of the room.
“I just want to respect the gentleman who could not take it anymore and had to express himself,” Lee said. “I acknowledge his pain.”
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