Speaking at a rally in Dalton, Georgia, Thursday evening, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) urged angry Americans to take their frustrations out on social media companies who engage in what conservatives refer to as “cancel culture,” by exercising their Second Amendment rights and using violence against those companies, according to HuffPost.
The Georgia rally, which was co-hosted by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), featured an “America First” theme, a direct reference to former President Donald Trump, and included incendiary calls by Gaetz for those who are upset with what they see to engage in armed insurrection, with the Florida congressman telling attendees:
“For all the fake news media, the Second Amendment is not about — it’s not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports.
“The Second Amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary. I hope it never does, but it sure is important to recognize the founding principles of this nation and make sure that they are fully understood.”
Anyone who disagrees with how things are going in the United States, Gaetz then added, has an “obligation” to do whatever they feel is necessary to bring about change:
“The internet’s hall monitors out in Silicon Valley, they think they can suppress us, discourage us. Well you know what? Silicon Valley can’t cancel this movement, or this rally, or this congressman. We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it.”
NEW: Tonight Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation over allegations of prostitution and public corruption, suggested conservatives shoot people in Silicon Valley for their “cancel culture.” pic.twitter.com/5cOIyAnJDT
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 28, 2021
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) immediately slammed Gaetz:
This is not speech protected by the first amendment. This is beyond yelling fire in a theater. https://t.co/FyIcIqqsIl
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) May 28, 2021
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) called for Gaetz to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee:
Dear @GOPLeader: You need to remove Rep Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee. It’s a conflict of interest for Gaetz to have oversight over the DOJ that is investigating him for sex crimes.
Also, Gaetz is urging people to shoot Silicon Valley employees. https://t.co/OccZKeoyVi
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 28, 2021
The Florida congressman’s hateful remarks come just a day after a gunman shot and killed nine people in San Jose, California, which just so happens to be in the heart of the Silicon Valley that Gaetz was urging attacks on.
Gaetz has his own legal woes. He is currently under investigation for allegedly engaging in the sexual trafficking of a minor he transported across state lines for the purposes of sex. If convicted, he faces 10 years to life in federal prison.
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