‘Calm down? Children are dying!’ Nashville shooting sparks shouting match between congressmen

Days after three children and three adults were fatally shot at a small Christian school in Nashville, a heated discussion over gun control between Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat, and Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican, turned into a shouting match in a hallway outside the House chamber.

Bowman, a former middle school principal, was telling reporters that Republicans were “gutless” for not backing gun control laws after this week’s shooting.

Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat, and Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican, face off over the lack of gun control in the US.

Standing in the hallway, Bowman accused Republicans of being “cowards” and said voters should force them “to respond to the question” of how to “save America’s children” from shootings.

“And let them explain that all the way up to Election Day in 2024,” he said.

Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, who was walking by, then stopped to ask: “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about gun violence,” Bowman said.

Massie, who once tweeted a holiday photo of his family holding guns, then told Bowman, “You know, there’s never been a school shooting in a school that allows teachers to carry.”

“Carry guns? More guns lead to more death,” Bowman replied, raising his volume.

“Look at the data; you’re not looking at any data.” Bowman then repeatedly told Massie that states that have open-carry laws have more deaths.

When Massie told Bowman to calm down, the second-term congressman yelled, “Calm down? Children are dying!”

The Washington Post could not immediately verify the lawmakers’ claims.

The verbal brawl between Bowman and Massie comes amid national disagreement over how to reduce school shootings, as the nation mourns the deaths of 9-year-olds Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney from the shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School. Katherine Koonce, Mike Hill and Cynthia Peak were the three adults who were killed.

US politicians have suggested that a legislative fix for school shootings isn’t coming anytime soon.

Democrats have proposed a bill to boost research aimed at finding out the causes of gun violence, while Republicans have expressed reluctance to support more firearm restrictions.

President Biden called on Congress on Tuesday to pass tighter regulations, including an assault weapons ban.

“I have gone the full extent of my executive authority, on my own,” Biden said, adding: “I can’t do anything except plead with Congress to act.”

Washington Post

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