Nick Freitas, a Republican member of the state’s House of Delegates and Army veteran, gave an impassioned speech regarding gun control and the second amendment that quickly went viral on social media. After being posted on Facebook on Friday, the video has since garnered over 13 million views and more than 15,000 comments.
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During his powerful speech, Freitas worked to highlight issues surrounding the gun control debate, including questioning whether additional regulation or limitations associated with firearms would be effective at preventing tragedies such as the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
The caption for the video that was posted on Freitas’ page read, “For several days now, some Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates have made public speeches comparing those of us who take our oath to the Constitution seriously, to include the 2nd Amendment, to Nazis and segregationists.”
“This is my response,” he added.
Freitas openly questioned the effectiveness of certain approaches to stemming gun violence, particularly the use of “gun-free zones” as deterrents, the effectiveness of “gun control” measures, and the impact of “broken homes.”
He also questioned whether Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates were truly interested in an “open and honest debate” regarding gun violence and potential solutions.
He also took aim at Democrats who he said compare pro-gun Republicans to Nazis and segregationists, and accused the Democratic party of being those behind slavery and Jim Crow.
The reference to slavery led Delegate Joseph Lindsey, an African-American Democrat, to condemn Freitas’ speech, according to a report by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Delegate Delores McQuinn (D), who is also African-American, chose to walk off the floor instead of listening to Freitas speak.
Freitas is currently running for US Senate and hopes to be the Republican selected to take on the incumbent, Democrat US Senator Tim Kaine, for the seat this fall.