President Kevin McCarthy on Thursday expressed openness to gun legislation after a Nashville school shooting killed six people on Monday, but highlighted the “mental health crisis” in the United States.
“We need to have a conversation as a country, deal with mental illness and see what drives individuals to shoot innocent children,” he said. “I don’t think any one bill will solve this problem.”
“We will look, getting all the information, if there is anything more we can do,” the speaker said.
“The issue we are in today is not just going to be legislation… We need to have a serious conversation here with this country.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries has admitted “passions are running high” for gun reform after one of his rank-and-file members fell out with a pro-Second Amendment Republican right next to him. House floor.
New York Rep. Jamal Bowman got into the angry exchange with Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky on Wednesday, just two days after a shooting at a Christian school in Nashville left three adults and three children dead.
McCarthy on Thursday expressed openness to gun legislation after a Nashville school shooting killed six on Monday, but pointed to the “mental health crisis” in the United States. Jeffries promised to sit down with his Republican counterpart soon
“I’m going to abstain until I talk to him,” Jeffries, also from the New York delegation, told reporters on Thursday. “But passions run high on the issue.”
“No other country in the world has this problem.”
Jeffries urged Republicans to allow debate on an assault weapons ban.
“Let’s debate the issue of gun safety in front of the American people,” Jeffries said. “Stop hiding your location. We have our position. Let’s spread this.
Jeffries remained coy about whether he would file a gun reform discharge petition — which would force a floor vote if a majority of members accepted it.
Last year, Congress passed its first gun reform in decades – though Democrats said it didn’t go far enough.
The 80-page compromise legislation toughened background checks for young gun buyers, tightened background check requirements and toughened penalties for gun traffickers.
The bill also closed the “boyfriend loophole” – prohibiting dating partners convicted of domestic violence who are not married to their victims from obtaining firearms.
Convicted abusers who are married, live with, or have children with their victims were already prohibited from having firearms.
Additionally, $750 million was offered to states that have “red flag” laws facilitating the temporary taking of firearms from people deemed dangerous, and to other states with violence prevention programs.
But the legislation didn’t require red flag laws — Tennessee, where Monday’s shooting killed three children and three adults — had no such law.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, chaos erupted just off the floor of the house – Bowman, a 2020 elected “squad” member, ripped into House Republicans near a bank of elevators during a one vote – calling them ‘cowards’ for failing to act on new gun control measures in the wake of the Nashville school shooting that left six people dead.
‘Fucking cowards! They are gutless,” he fumed – prompting gun rights activist Massie to chime in.
‘What are you talking about?’ Massie asked him – in an exchange that Bowman posted on his Twitter account, in a video that quickly surpassed one million views.
New York Rep. Jamal Bowman clashed with Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky just off the floor of the house
Massie has repeatedly tried to tell Bowman that schools that allow teachers have not experienced mass shootings, in a clash on the day Democrats reintroduced legislation allowing $50 million a year to be searched for. the “epidemic” of armed violence.
Tennessee does not allow teachers to carry guns, although there was an effort last month to change laws to allow it, and the state generally has pro-gun laws .
“More guns lead to more deaths,” Bowman replied. “You haul the water for the gun lobby,” he told Massie.
Massie posted a transcript of several of his own comments on the video – and included a photo of Massie’s Christmas card image showing Massie and family members holding assault weapons. This post came in the wake of a 2021 school shooting in Oxford, Michigan.
Bowman posted an image of an online Christmas card Massie posted in 2021, with the lawmaker and family members holding assault weapons
Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, confronted Bowman and asked him to explain what he was talking about
“They will do nothing to save the lives of our children. Cowards,’ Bowman told reporters gathered outside the House chamber
“They don’t have the courage. They’re cowards,’ Bowman said of the Republican group
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation to provide regular funding from the Centers for Disease Control for gun violence prevention
“You know, there’s never been a school shooting that allows teachers to wear,” said Massie, who chairs a House caucus on the Second Amendment.
“Look at the data – more guns lead to more deaths,” Bowman chided.
At one point, former House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland tried to get involved or talk to Bowman by tapping him on the shoulder, but he eventually gave up.
– Calm down, Massie told him.
‘Calm? Children are dying,” he said.
“The solution is not to arm the teachers. Have you ever worked in a school? asked Bowman, a former educator who represents the Bronx and part of Westchester County and succeeded soft-spoken Rep. Eliot Engel.
“You’re screaming,” Massie said at one point, prompting Bowman to say he’d “take it down a notch.”
Massie eventually walked away and began speaking directly to a group of reporters who had gathered to watch and film the event, prompting Bowman to follow him, as other lawmakers walked out of the chamber.