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.
\u201cNothing illustrates the ultimate level of personal weakness than #Snowflake Gaetz and all the whiny little wimps in the @NRA\n\nRep. Matt Gaetz Wants Legislation Allowing Voters To Carry Guns At Polls https://t.co/0LOfvvXUW5\u201d— \ud83c\udf0aIdlechatter \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89 (@\ud83c\udf0aIdlechatter \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89) 1654279103
\u201c@HawaiiPopeye @DawgsNHawks Insane! Matt wants more folks to have guns!\u201d— Alan Tucker (@Alan Tucker) 1654273390
\u201c"Matt Gaetz, being the forward thinker that he is, believes it would be prudent to pass a law allowing every [white] American to arm themselves while standing in line to vote."\n\nhttps://t.co/ICjQB2M3Lb via @politicususa\u201d— PoliticusUSA (@PoliticusUSA) 1654268745
\u201c@PoliticusSarah @politicususa Or when you\u2019re picking up you new girlfriend from middle school\u201d— Sarah Reese Jones (@Sarah Reese Jones) 1654274926
\u201c@PoliticusSarah @politicususa does #PedoMatt mean ALL voters or just the white ones? \n\nI seem to remember white people getting really upset about this:\u201d— Sarah Reese Jones (@Sarah Reese Jones) 1654274926
\u201c@PoliticusSarah @politicususa He\u2019s like a temperamental two-year-old who just seeks attention, even if it\u2019s negative attention. I cannot wait until he is indicted and convicted.\u201d— Sarah Reese Jones (@Sarah Reese Jones) 1654274926
\u201cYeah, nothing intimidating about waiting in line to vote with MAGAts armed with assault rifles. These people thrive on violence. \n@RepMattGaetz Wants Legislation Allowing Voters To Carry Guns At Polls https://t.co/GnGDXkEjew via @politicususa\u201d— Catlady628 (@Catlady628) 1654280786
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.