GOP Lawmakers Says It’s ‘Premature’ and Too ‘Emotional’ to Discuss New Gun Laws
Following the killing of three children and three staff members at a Tennessee elementary school, President Joe Biden renewed calls for gun control legislation, including a plea to Congress to pass a proposed assault weapons ban.
When questioned by reporters if they would support increasing regulations on firearms in the wake of yet another school shooting, Republican lawmakers are already dumping cold water on the prospect of supporting new legislation.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) called discussions of proposed legislation “premature.” When a reporter pointed out that there have been more than a hundred mass shootings in the first three months of the year, Thune reiterated that “it’s just premature to talk about it.”
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said earlier on Tuesday that it would be too “emotional” to discuss banning weapons like the AR-15.”If you’re going to talk about the AR-15, we’re talking politics now,” Byrons said. “Let’s not get into emotion because emotion feels good. But emotion doesn’t solve problems.”
Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), whose district houses the elementary school where the shooting took place, deflected questions about his potential support for legislation banning AR-15’s telling reporters that lawmakers should instead focus on “the real issue” in regards to the shooting–mental health.
While some lawmakers are attempting to deflect from the issue of gun control with non-answers and alternative proposals, some are being painfully honest about what the GOP is willing to do about the matter. Rep. Tim Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) told reporters on Monday that while the death of children was a tragedy, “We’re not going to fix it.”
“I don’t see any real role that we can do here other than mess things up,” he said, adding that the true solution is to “change people’s hearts.”
After House Republicans canceled a scheduled markup on proposed legislation facilitating modifications for firearms the day after the shooting, House Democrat Vice Chair Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) called them “cowards.”
“If they honestly believe, as they say, that arming more Americans with more guns, more AR-15s, more pistol braces would make us safer, they would have held the hearing and had that as a solution,” Lieu said. “But they didn’t do that, they ran away.”