Gun safety activist David Hogg interrupted a House committee hearing on banning assault-style weapons Wednesday after a Republican member argued Americans need more firearms due to an “invasion” of migrants.
“You are reiterating the point of a mass shooter, Sir,” Hogg shouted to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).
Hogg’s high school in Parkland, Florida, was attacked in 2018 by a mass shooter armed with an AR-15 style rifle, killing 17 people. The killer had expressed racist, homophobic and antisemitic views on social media.
“The shooter at my high school: antisemitic, anti-Black and racist. The shooter in El Paso described it as ‘an invasion,’” said Hogg, also referring to the white supremacist views of a mass killer at a Texas Walmart in 2019. “Guess what? Those guns are coming from the United States of America. They aren’t coming from Mexico.”
Hogg was escorted from the hearing room as he continued to assail Biggs. He said in a video posted later on Twitter that he had a “duty to interrupt white nationalists when they spew harmful rhetoric.”
“The shooter at my high school was a 19-year-old American citizen, white nationalist, that espoused hateful rhetoric about immigrants, about Black people, about Muslims and Jewish people,” Hogg said. “He was able to legally arm himself with an AR-15. Stop saying these talking points that these mass shooters are using. Stop reiterating them.”
Biggs argued after Hogg was removed that banning assault-style weapons would do more harm than good.
“With this bill you’re going to disarm people, you’re going to prevent them from defending themselves along the border,” said Biggs, an extremist who played an important role in trying to help ex-President Donald Trump overturn the 2020 election result. “We have people in Arizona who can’t leave their house.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) retorted that no one is trying to take weapons away from the military or law enforcement authorities tasked with guarding the border. The bill discussed at the hearing ― H.R. 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2021 ― addresses civilian access to AR-15-style firearms, ghost guns and bump stocks, she noted.
“That is what we are trying to deal with in terms of fighting against the violence that killed our children,” Jackson said after pointing to a graphic displaying the weapons.
“No one is stopping any family from having the protection that they need,” she continued. Americans “have the ability to have [plenty] of guns not included in this bill.”