Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., insisted that there was nothing Congress could do in response to Monday’s school shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School, which marked the 131st mass shooting this year.
Burchett, who represents Knoxville, told reporters on the steps of Capitol on Monday that Congress is powerless to affect the rise in mass shooting deaths.
“We’re not gonna fix it,” he said. “I don’t see any role that we could do other than mess things up, honestly.”
Burchett offered his solution to rising gun violence: “You’ve got to change people’s hearts.”
“As a Christian, we talk about the church,” he added. “I’ve said this many times, I think we really need a revival in this country”
Burchett is a member of the uber-conservative Republican Study Committee, which maintains close ties with the National Rifle Association.
Burchett after Monday’s shooting said in a statement that he and his family “are praying for everyone at The Covenant School, especially the families of the shooting victims.”
“No one should have to go through that kind of horrific event or lose a loved one like that,” he wrote. “I’m so thankful to those brave folks who brought down the shooter and took care of the students and their families.”
Republican leaders in Congress have similarly rejected the idea of pursuing gun safety legislation.
“I would say we’ve gone about as far as we can go unless somebody identifies some area that we didn’t address,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told The Hill when asked about background checks and other gun legislation.
“You’re not going to see us move anything remotely at the federal level for red-flag legislation,” added Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., insisted that taking guns away is “not the answer” to gun violence. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., went further, arguing that more “good guys with guns” was the solution to the country’s gun violence epidemic.
President Joe Biden’s administration blasted Republicans following the Nashville shooting, which claimed the lives of three children and three adults after a 28-year-old shooter entered the Covenant School, where they were a former student.
“How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban, to close loopholes in our background check system or to require the safe storage of guns,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a Monday press conference. “We need to do something.”
“President Biden has taken more action than any president in history on gun safety — from nearly two dozen actions including the executive order he just signed… to the bipartisan safer communities act legislation he signed into law after the [shooting] tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo,” she continued. “He also believes it’s not enough. We must do more. And he wants Congress to act because enough is enough.”
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Democrats on Tuesday pushed to pass gun legislation, which stands little chance in the divided Congress.
“We must give families the peace of mind to send their kids to school without fearing for their lives,” Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., argued at a Monday press conference, adding that “we need reasonable Republicans to come to the table to make this happen.”
Rep. Jennifer McClellan, D-Va., sought to appeal to Republicans focused on “parental rights,” asserting that the “number one right parents should have is the ability to send their children to school and not worry about if they’ll come back.”
about the Nashville shooting
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