Republican lawmakers face criticism for riling their base over non-issues while ignoring actual problems.
At all levels of government, the GOP has warned about Critical Race Theory and transgender girls and LGBTQ+ influences in grade schools while failing to address the very real threat of school shootings.
Continuing that tactic, Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz now claims voters need to carry guns to polling places to be safe from intimidation.
Where and when voter intimidation requiring an armed response has been an issue wasn't included in Gaetz latest fear mongering claim.
On Thursday Gaetz said:
"I sort of like [Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas] Massie’s legislation that maybe everyone who’s a voter or on their way to vote ought to have the opportunity to carry a firearm to ensure that they’re not subject to any intimidation."
Gaetz was speaking during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, seen below:
His idea didn't garner much support online.
Surprisingly, in 2021 only seven states prohibited guns at the polls—Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia and Texas—according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Four states prohibit only concealed carry—Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina. Washington and Colorado ban only open carry.
Gaetz's push for armed individuals to go to polls is actually the reason several states added restrictions after 2020.
Voters' reports of feeling intimidated by armed men filming them at the polls in November, 2020 in Arapahoe County, Colorado led to that state's ban of firearms. The same occurred in Virginia and Washington state.
In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Gaetz has filled his social media and speaking appearances with gun rights rhetoric and spoken against any attempts to add gun regulation legislation in Congress.