Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not say the House would take any formal action in response to the Nashville school shooting.
According to the National Gun Violence Archive, the Nashville Shooting was the latest in 131 mass shooting incidents so far this year. The school shooting happened on Monday at the Covenant School and killed three adults and three nine-year-old children.
McCarthy said, “I don’t think one piece of legislation solves this; we’ve got to deal with mental illness.”
When asked whether an assault weapon ban or background checks are on the table, McCarthy simply said Republicans would first “get all the facts” but did not elaborate on which additional facts he was seeking.
The Speaker’s statement is echoed by fellow GOP members, including Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee, who said, “We’re not gonna fix it. Criminals are going to be criminals.”
President Joe Biden has repeated that he doesn’t have executive authority to take more action on guns and has instead dispatched White House Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to put pressure on Republicans to act.
“The president has done his part,” she said. “We need Congress to do their part.”
The tragedy in Nashville has sparked a heated partisan debate about gun control among lawmakers and even devolved into a heated exchange between Rep. Jamaal Brown (D-NY) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-NY) on Wednesday. Massie argued in favor of teachers carrying guns and told Bowman to calm down, to which he responded: “Calm down?! Children are dying! Nine-year-old children.”
Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) admonished Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) after she praised the “good guy with a gun” who stopped the shooter in Nashville.
“Did the good guys with a gun stop six people from getting murdered? No,” Moskowitz said. “But AR-15s, have you seen what those bullets do to children?”
“You guys are worried about banning books? Dead kids can’t read,” he added, referencing efforts from some politicians to review materials that appear in classrooms and school libraries. In 2022, 51 school shootings resulted in injury or death — the most in a single year since Education Week, an independent news outlet covering K-12 schools, began recording this data in 2018. This number marks an increase from the prior highest number of school shootings, which was the 35 school shootings that occurred in 2021, according to data gathered by Education Week.