Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., on Tuesday doubled down on his comments that Congress is "not gonna fix" the problem of school shootings, saying that the country needed a "real revival" rather than gun control legislation.
Earlier this week, a shooter attacked The Covenant School in Nashville, killing six people, including three children. In the aftermath of the rampage, the third school shooting in the country this year, lawmakers returned to their well-trodden positions in responding to gun violence. Democrats called for stricter gun control legislation, with President Joe Biden urging Congress to pass an assault weapons ban. Some Republicans shifted the blame away from guns, instead pointing to the shooter's gender identity and mental illness.
“If you want to legislate evil, it’s just not going to happen,” Burchett said. "We need a real revival in this country. Let’s call on our Christian ministers and our people of faith.”
He added: “If you think Washington is going to fix this problem, you’re wrong. They’re not going to fix this problem. They are the problem.”
Burchett had come under fire after a viral tweet showed him claiming after the shooting, "We're not gonna fix it," when asked what Congress would do about school shootings.
“Criminals are going to be criminals,” Burchett said, likening the situation to his father fighting against people determined to kill him in World War II. When asked if there were other steps lawmakers could take to protect children like his daughter, Burchett replied, “Well, we homeschool her.”
After a mass shooting last May in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers, Congress passed some gun control measures, the first movement on the issue in years. But several conservative lawmakers have expressed reluctance to pursue stricter gun control measures after the most recent mass shooting.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized GOP lawmakers who have voiced opposition to banning semi-automatic weapons.
“It’s unacceptable that Republicans are saying that there’s nothing that we can do,” she said at Wednesday’s press briefing.
When Burchett was asked whether it concerned him that other countries don't have America's levels of gun violence, he said, "Other countries don't have our freedom either. It's the United States of America."
Responding to Burchett's statements in a speech on the House floor, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said, "Democrats have a different view," calling for the passage of universal background checks.