Parkland survivor David Hogg thrown out of House gun control meeting for impassioned interruption

‘You are reiterating the points of a mass shooter, sir, sir, you are perpetuating violence,’ David Hogg shouted in the meeting

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 21 July 2022 20:34 BST
Parkland teacher testifies about helping wounded students
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Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg was thrown out of a House Judiciary Committee meeting about gun control on Wednesday after he confronted a GOP lawmaker about “reiterating the points of mass shooters”.

Mr Hogg, a prominent gun safety advocate, was in the gallery of the meeting as Republican Rep Andy Biggs claimed that residents in his state of Arizona need assault weapons to defend themselves against the “invasion” of immigrants.

“The reality is it is an invasion of our southern border,” he said.

The lawmaker argued that – if a ban of assault weapons comes into force – people who live within 10 miles of the US’s southern border with Mexico must be exempt because they need “to protect themselves” from people who he claims “pose a danger or threat”.

As he made his comments, Mr Hogg rose to his feet and passionately interrupted proceedings telling him that his claims echoed comments made by several mass killers.

“You’re reiterating the points of mass shooters in your manifesto!” he shouted.

“The shooter in my high school: antiSemitic, anti-Black and racist. The shooter in El Paso described it as an invasion.”

Mr Hogg continued by telling Rep Biggs that the guns used in those attacks didn’t come from Mexico – but from within the US’s own borders.

“Guess what? Those guns are coming from the United States of America. They aren’t coming from Mexico. They are not coming from Mexico,” he shouted.

“You are reiterating the points of a mass shooter, sir, sir, you are perpetuating violence… Stop these things now!”

Lawmakers tried to quieten Mr Hogg, with the chairman banging the gavel multiple times.

Others in the gallery were heard supporting the gun control activist, with one person heard shouting “go David”.

In the end, a security officer took Mr Hogg by the arm and removed him from the room.

Mr Hogg posted a video of the incident on his Twitter, writing: “The guns in Parkland, Buffalo, El Paso, didn’t come from Mexico. They came from the US, and the shooters were inspired by racist, anti-black, anti-immigrant manifestos that rhyme with GOP talking points.”

The House Judiciary Committee meeting was held to discuss the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act – a bill that would ban semi-automatic weapons.

The bill, put forward by Rep David Cicilline and Senator Dianne Feinstein, would not include those who already own such firearms but would ban the sale, import, manufacture and transfer of them going forwards.

It was originally proposed last year but didn’t have enough votes to make it to the Senate.

Following a string of mass shootings that have torn apart dozens of families across the country in recent months, lawmakers are hoping the bill will now gain enough support.

The firearms used in the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, Highland Park – as well as the massacres at Parkland and El Paso – were all legally purchased in the US.

Several of the mass killers who carried out the attacks openly harboured racist beliefs which they said inspired them to carry out the massacres.

In Buffalo, a self-proclaimed white supremacist shot and killed 10 Black people based on a belief in the debunked “great replacement theory pushed by right-wing commentators including Tucker Carlson.

In 2019, a Wal-Mart in El Paso was the target of a mass shooter who detailed in a racist manifesto that the attack was a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.

David Hogg is removed from the House Judiciary Committee meeting after he confronted Republican Rep Andy Biggs (David Hogg/Twitter)

Mr Hogg’s impassioned confrontation over the GOP lawmaker’s comments came at the same time that the man who murdered 17 of his fellow students and school staff members appeared in court over in Florida.

On 14 February 2018, former student Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and shot dead 17 innocent victims in one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.

Another 17 victims were shot but survived the massacre.

Following the attack it emerged that Cruz harboured racist beliefs and displayed a fascination with Nazism and the KKK, carving out swastikas on the firearm he used to murder his victims.

Last year, Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murders and 17 counts of attempted murder.

Now, a jury will decide if he spends the rest of his life in prison or is sentenced to death for his crimes.

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