Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told an audience in Georgia Thursday that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to “maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.”
“We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it,” Gaetz said at a rally with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in Dalton, located in Greene’s home district.
“The Second Amendment – this is a little history lesson for all the fake news media. The Second Amendment is not about, it’s not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports,” the 39-year-old went on. “The Second Amendment is about maintaining, within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary. I hope it never does, but it sure is important to recognize the founding principles of this nation, and to make sure that they are fully understood.”
Gaetz and Greene have been holding a series of rallies around the Sun Belt this spring in an effort to broaden their name recognition among former President Donald Trump’s supporters.
The lawmakers have both come under fire in recent weeks, with Gaetz being investigated for potential sex trafficking of a minor and Greene being heavily criticized for recent statements in which she compared House rules about wearing masks to anti-Jewish laws in Nazi Germany.
Earlier in the rally, Gaetz railed against big tech companies, alleging that their censorship of conservative views on their platform.
“The internet’s hall monitors out in Silicon Valley, they think they can suppress us, discourage us — maybe if you’re just a little less patriotic, maybe if you just conform to their way of thinking a little more, you’ll be allowed to participate in the digital world,” he said. “Well, you know what? Silicon Valley can’t cancel this movement or this rally or this congressman.”
A clip of those remarks, which also included Gaetz’s statement that “we have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it,” drew a rebuke from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who tweeted: “This is not speech protected by the first amendment. This is beyond yelling fire in a theater” — an incorrect paraphrase of a now-overturned 1919 Supreme Court ruling that held opposing the military draft was not protected speech.
After his Second Amendment remarks, Gaetz joked, “That’ll be the part that gets me kicked off YouTube, talking about our rights and our freedoms.”
A spokesperson for Gaetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while a spokesperson for Kinzinger did not immediately respond to a Post email asking whether he thought Gaetz should face legal action over the comments.