(CNS News) -- During floor debate June 8 on the Democrat-sponsored "Protect Our Children Act," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called for protecting America's schools with armed veterans and former law enforcement officers, and criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats in general for leaving "our children as sitting ducks in gun free zones when they go to school every day."
Gaetz also stressed that the Second Amendment is not primarily about hunting or target shooting, but about "power" for U.S. citizens to fight back against "tyranny."
"Speaker Pelosi tells us she's on a crusade for the children," said Gaetz in his floor remarks. "Someone should maybe remind the Speaker the Crusades did not always end well when they were reflexively driven by emotion and riddled with poor planning.'
"No, this is no crusade for the children," he said. "If it were, you wouldn't leave our children as sitting ducks in gun free zones when they go to school every day."
As for action against criminals with guns, Gaetz cited his own bill "to create a national Stand Your Ground law," as well as Rep. Richard Hudson's (R-N.C.) bill for "national concealed carry."
The National Stand Your Ground Act was introduced by Gaetz and several other House Republicans in December 2021. The legislation would codify Florida's Stand Your Ground law into federal law, "abolishing the duty of retreat when attacked."
"[E]very American has the right to defend their life from an attacker," said Gaetz when introducing the bill. "If someone tries to kill you, you should have the right to return fire and preserve your life. Let's reaffirm in law what exists in our Constitution and in the hearts of our fellow Americans. Abolish the legal duty of retreat everywhere.
Hudson's Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act was introduced in February 2021 and has over 165 co-sponsors. Explaining the legislation, he said last year, "Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that."
"The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is a common sense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits," said Hudson. "I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure and will work with my colleagues to get this legislation over the finish line."
In his remarks, Gaetz further said, "Republicans have offered to unlock the safe and secure environment when we have our military veterans and our former members of law enforcement able to carry a firearm responsibly in schools, to be able to respond to these acts of violence."
For the Democrats, however, "their version of action is more gun control, raising the age to be able to buy certain firearms," he added.
Gaetz then cited several instances where private citizens had used guns, including the AR-15 rifle, to defend themselves and others from armed criminals. "[O]n November 25, 2021, a crazed lunatic with a knife broke into a home in El Paso and began assaulting a woman inside," said Gaetz. "The 20-year-old homeowner grabbed his rifle and killed the assailant. That's action."
"In 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a gunman opened fire inside the First Baptist Church," he added. "A good Samaritan grabbed his AR-15 and engaged the shooter, stopping him from further carnage. A good use for an AR-15."
Also, in 2019, he said, "in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a 19-year-old killed three would-be burglars who broke into his home."
"These situations happen every day, and there would be more death and more bloodshed if we were to accept these proposals from the Democrats," said the congressman. "But the Second Amendment isn't about hunting or about self-defense. It is about power."
"It is about the power that is reserved in the citizenry to curate a balance so that Americans are not overrun by tyranny," said Gaetz. "And thank God we haven't had to use the Second Amendment for the purpose that some might have envisioned necessary when our founders were creating the Constitution. And that power belongs to The People, not to the Democrats trying to take their rights away and to make their schools less safe.”
In a Dec. 20, 1787 letter to the son-in-law of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
In the first draft (1776)of the Virginia Constitution, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
In its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme court held that, "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."