The subject of gun violence is a controversial issue that often sparks heated debate from those on both sides of the issue. Add in illegal immigration and calls to build a wall along the U.S, border with Mexico and the debate is likely to turn more heated.
Such was the case Thursday night when Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz appeared on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time to discuss how both gun violence and immigration are being used given the current political climate surrounding both issues.
“If we cared about safer streets, we’d build the wall and secure the border,” the Republican congressman declared during an interview segment that quickly turned contentious between Gaetz and host Chris Cuomo. See the exchange here.
Earlier this week, Gaetz made national headlines after he attempted to kick the father of a Parkland school shooting victim out of a House Judiciary Committee hearing. Gaetz complained Manuel Oliver interrupted him several times while Gaetz argued that a bill dealing with background checks wouldn’t prevent gun violence as much as President Donald Trump’s proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border would.
Cuomo questioned Gaetz’s motivation behind his comments adding it “looked like grandstanding because it has nothing to do with the solution.”
Cuomo later challenged Gaetz asking him to name a mass shooting conducted by an illegal alien. Gaetz listed three shootings that have occurred in the U.S., none of them resulted in multiple casualties.
“I know because now they’re an item. They’re an article of convenience for you,” Cuomo said.
“You think it’s convenient for us that people are dead at the hands of illegal aliens?!” Gaetz fired back.
“Absolutely,” Cuomo said.
Gaetz produced statistics from the Bureau of Crime Statistics that one of five people charged with murder by the federal government is an illegal alien. Gaetz added that illegal aliens are three times more likely to go to jail than immigrants who enter the country.
“If you end illegal immigration, and if you had a wall, some of these people who are dead at the hands of illegal immigrants who shot them might not be,” Gaetz claimed. “That’s my whole point.”
Cuomo claimed Gaetz was only talking about a “a little slice of the problem” of gun violence and accused him of ignoring mass shootings and why they occur.
“They’re an article of convenience for you now,” Cuomo replied.
The congressman responded that Cuomo seemed to think “only the mass shootings matter.”