This is the Republican who shamelessly kicked out two Parkland shooting victim parents from a congressional hearing on gun violence.

This is unacceptable.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on gun violence for the first time in nearly eight years and it ended in embarrassing fashion for the leading Republican. The committee room was filled with concerned citizens, some of which arrived three hours before the hearing’s start. But the heated topic got out of control when fathers of two Parkland shooting victims went head to head with a pro-Trump congressman.

During the hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R, Florida) stated instances when gun violence was committed by undocumented immigrants. He then pushed for the border wall, claiming without evidence that the wall would curb such violence.

"I hope we do not forget the pain, and anguish, and sense of loss felt by those all over the country who have been the victims of violence at the hands of illegal aliens," he said. "[Firearms background check legislation] would not have stopped many of the circumstances I raised, but a wall, a barrier on the Southern border may have, and that's what we're fighting for.” Gaetz is a supporter of President Trump and his border wall.

Manuel Oliver and Fred Guttenberg, fathers of two Parkland shooting victims, protested Gaetz’s statements. "Manny told Gaetz his comments were not true, and I said our loved ones were killed by an American male,” Guttenberg later told NPR.

Comments from the public are forbidden during congressional hearings, and the two were given a warning. Gaetz later pushed for their removal, citing their interruptions. "I'd observe three interruptions of my time by the same individual, and the chair is not exercising his discretion to remove that individual," Gaetz said as he pointed at Oliver and Guttenberg.

Gaetz later said he was unaware the disruptors were fathers of Parkland victims. However, he also said that he still would have acted the same way. “I don't think anybody, regardless of tragic circumstances, can expect to come to a congressional hearing and take it over with a series of interruptions,” Gaetz said.

While Oliver and Guttenberg weren’t permitted to speak during the congressional hearing, others involved in Parkland were able to make their voices heard. Parkland survivor Aalayah Eastmond testified before the committee. “Assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines belong on the battlefield — not in our communities. My classmates and I have seen firsthand how uniquely lethal these weapons are,” said Eastmond. "I implore you to pass legislation that would make us all safer. Today in America, anyone can go on the Internet, answer an ad or go to a gun show and buy a gun with no background check required. This makes absolutely no sense.”

Now that Democrats have gained control of the House, they’re making gun control legislation a priority. New legislation expanding the scope of background checks on gun sales and gun transfers has been introduced into the House and is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 230 lawmakers. The bill, while likely to get through the House, is expected to experience setbacks in the Senate.

NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less

Climate change means our future is uncertain, but in the meantime, it's telling us a lot about our past. The Earth's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, but as the ice dwindles, ancient artifacts are being uncovered. The Secrets of the Ice project has been surveying the glaciers on Norway's highest mountains in Oppland since 2011. They have found a slew of treasures, frozen in time and ice, making glacier archeologists, as Lars Pilø, co-director of Secrets of the Ice, put it when talking to CNN, the "unlikely beneficiaries of global warming."

Instead of digging, glacier archeologists survey the areas of melting ice, seeing which artifacts have been revealed by the thaw. "It's a very different world from regular archaeological sites," Pilø told National Geographic. "It's really rewarding work.

Keep Reading Show less

When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less