GOP Representative Plants the Seeds of Violence as Gun Victims Tell Their Stories – The Daily Beast

Cajun John Wayne did it again on Wednesday, and just now he wasn’t a cop who quit the Louisiana Police Department while facing disciplinary charges for lying about assaulting someone.

And the Clay HigginsHard talk is no longer aimed at escaped criminals, as it did when he made viral videos of a criminal in the second of two Louisiana police departments that he later appointed.

Higgins used the attention he got from the videos to get elected as the United States representative for Louisiana’s third congressional district. He spoke as a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee during Wednesday’s hearing on assault weapons. He alleged that Democrats are seeking to circumvent the Second Amendment by banning assault weapons, anticipating loud gunfire between gun owners and federal agents.

In the view of his former chief of the Opelousas Police Department, retired Chief Perry Gallo, what could have been a mere theatrical hustle in Higgins’ past life as Crow Cajun policeman constitutes dangerous talk by a political leader at a precarious time. Higgins was doing so at a hearing that included two witnesses who survived a mass shooting and three others who lost a loved one.

“In my opinion, a congressman must choose his words wisely, because his words matter, and there are people on the edge of a cliff who can take revenge based on his words and the words of anyone who can suggest it,” Gallo said.

The Democratic leadership used its own videos at the start of the session with three intense minutes of briefings on people directly affected by the mass shootings with assault weapons. It began with the massacre of 20 children and four adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

The first on-screen witness said, “Hi, my name is Nicole, and for almost 10 years I survived the Sandy Hook shooting in my elementary school, when I was only 7 years old.” “To this day, I continue to suffer through the horrific consequences that followed.”

Nicole Melkina was followed by David Slack, who survived the Shooting at the Fourth of July Parade in Highland Park, Illinois, which left seven dead. Two-year-old Aidan McCarthy was instantly orphaned. eight years Cooper Roberts is paralyzed.

“Our family was at the military parade when I saw the shooter appear above the second-floor ceiling line and point his long rifle at my family and around us and shoot quickly,” Slack said. “I threw my wife and son behind a metal garden bench to save our lives. After the shooting stopped, I saw Cooper’s father Roberts standing screaming for help, while my wife saw their son Cooper cramping to the ground and shooting in the abdomen and spine.”

Then came another Highland Park survivor, Ashby Beasley.

“As we ran, holding hands, we didn’t know if someone was going to shoot us, and if we were going to live or die, I built a good chunk of his innocence,” she said. “He’s not the same person. He’s broken and every day my husband and I grieve as we try to help him get back into the kind, carefree little boy he was before that happened.”

Next came a teenage girl whose sister was one of 19 children murdered in Texas in May.

“Hi, I’m Jasmine Cazares. I am 17 years old and my little sister, Jackie, was lost in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi.”

She raised a portrait of Jacqueline Cazares in a white dress, captured with angel wings.

“This photo was taken on her first machete on May 10,” said Yasmine Kazares. “Sixteen days later, she was shot dead [by] To the Daniel Defense AR-15″.

Next was Ovaldi’s mother.

“My name is Ana Rodriguez. My daughter, Mighty Rodriguez, was lost on May 24, 2022, in a Robb school shooting. Mighty was a beautiful 10-year-old girl who dreamed of attending Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi to pursue a career in marine biology. Mighty was robbed of her future by armed violence.”

Felix Rubio and Kimberly Rubio hold a photo of their late daughter Alexandria Rubio, who was killed during the mass shooting in Ovaldi, Texas, while attending a House Oversight Committee hearing on July 27.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There was also the father of 14-year-old Jaime Gutenberg, who died in a mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.

“My name is Fred Gutenberg. I am the father of Jesse and Jaime Gutenberg. On February 14, 2018, I sent my child to school to learn safely. Towards the end of that day, a gunman appeared at my daughter’s school, killing 17. My daughter was one of 17 dead.”

There was also Tracy Makulewicz, whose fiancé, Andre McNeil, was one of 10 shot dead at Tops supermarket in Buffalo.

“My fiancé was shot and killed on May 14 by a white supremacist when he went to Tops to buy a birthday cake for our son. The shooter killed my fiancé with a Bushmaster X 15 rifle.”

Maciulewicz gave birth to her 3-year-old son in her lap as she poses a video question to the two arms company CEOs who agreed to testify remotely.

“What are you going to do…” she started asking, crying.

Her son hugged her and said, “It’s okay.”

“… to make sure your products never fall into the hands of a racist mass shooter again, who would take the father of a child away?”

The answer from chief executives, Marty Daniel of Daniel Defense and Christopher Kelloy of Sturm, Ruger & Company, was essentially that they would do absolutely nothing besides marketing and selling more assault weapons. Daniel seemed comfortable with himself even though he had just heard a mother say that her daughter had been killed with a gun he had made and named after him.

Committee members asked questions and offered opinions consistent with their already stated views on offensive weapons. Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA) owns a gun shop called Clyde Armory in Athens, and he’s in line with CEOs.

But that wasn’t enough for Higgins of Louisiana. Cajun John Wayne expected widespread bloodshed between gun owners and law enforcement if those in favor of legislation banning the sale of assault weapons could pass through the House of Representatives. That’s not a sure thing, and there seems little chance of it getting passed to the Senate. But it was just the possibility of it becoming law that set the Higgins ragin’.

“What my colleagues are doing is really, incredibly, beyond the bounds of anything reasonable or constitutional. All we mean here is confiscation of guns from law-abiding American citizens who legally bought those guns. You’re setting up gun fights in the homes of Americans.”

“When do you think the ATF and the FBI are coming to our house? In the dead of the night. You’re setting up gun battles between American citizens who are defending their homes from the dark shadows, visibly armed, coming into our house, on our porch, and through our door. You’re setting up death .

He invoked an immediate future for “Americans are killing Americans because of some fantasies with which you can determine what a dangerous weapon is in the hands of those Americans, who live outside their real right to exercise their own decisions about what kind of firearm they legally buy and own. It’s crazy. What you pay, It’s not going to end well. You can push this bill by voting on the partisan line, but Americans won’t sit back and let it go without a response.”

A Smith & Wesson semi-automatic firearm is seen on screen during the July 27 House hearing.

Elisabeth Frantz/Reuters

He hit his fingers as he continued.

“People make decisions like that. Again, in the dead of night.”

He was speaking like the voice of experience.

“You’re setting up some extreme stuff and you’re 100 percent responsible for it. My fellow Democrats, when those fights happen, you’ll have blood on your hands.”

He described the proposed ban as “a political charade to pretend to be able to identify the weapons you know better than your ivory tower in D.C. I can identify weapons that Americans are not entitled to own. Indeed, we can’t buy a tank or have a caliber higher than 50. We carry light weapons.” And we own them. We legally own them. We are intent on keeping them.”

He said the commission was headed for “the inescapable rabbit hole”.

“In the end, an American citizen ends up standing up for that freedom… Will it be discussed in court or will it be settled on Americans’ front porch when the FBI and ATF show up to confiscate legally owned weapons from a law-abiding American citizen?”

Part-time with the Opelousas PoliceAnd the Higgins was a member of the SWAT team and filed search warrants. His career there ended after a drug raid in which he allegedly grabbed the hair of a passerby and then hit him. He did not help himself in what was seen as an attempt to cover up

“Clay Higgins used unnecessary force on a person while executing an injunction, and later made false statements during an internal investigation. Although he later retracted his story and admitted to beating a suspect in handcuffs and later released him,” the Discipline Review Board found of the Department.

I think it is an irresponsible act. It is frustrating that our leaders sow the seeds of violence.

Retired Opelousas Police Chief Perry Gallo

Higgins did not respond to the Daily Beast’s request for comment. But the version is later Showed the local pressHe was expelled from the department after hearing him call Chief Gallo a “peacock”.

“There’s a little more to it,” Gallo told The Daily Beast Wednesday afternoon.

When Higgins’ dramatic talk of widespread bloodletting was reported due to the offensive weapons ban, Gallo initially suggested that Higgins was merely dramatic for the effect.

“As is often the case,” Gallo said. “I know there’s theater in politics now, and it’s doing it well.”

But shortly after speaking to The Daily Beast, Gallo called him back. He had read online a novel about Higgins being challenged outside the listening room by Paisley, a Highland Park survivor.

As CNN reported, Beasley told Higgins that he was wrong to think the Democrats on the committee were just to snatch weapons from law-abiding Americans.

Higgins said to her, “If you don’t think these men are in this body…if you don’t think they’ll come door to door to seize your weapons, you’re wrong.”

“Have you ever run away from a mass shooter because you were shot?” Beasley asked.

According to the report, Higgins told her he had been a SWAT officer for 12 years, which Gallo refers to as an exaggeration.

“So you don’t know how you feel?” Beasley asked.

Higgins didn’t reply, probably because he didn’t actually know what the feeling was. Gallo said that as far as he knew, Higgins had never been in a shooting situation. Gallo worries that Higgins’ language may lead to one.

“I think it’s irresponsible,” Gallo said. “It is frustrating that our leaders are sowing the seeds of violence.”

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