Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) gave an explosive condemnation of Republican opposition to gun control legislation on Wednesday.
“They’re all cowards! They won’t do anything to save the lives of our children at all. Cowards,” Bowman said to reporters outside the House chamber as lawmakers were exiting.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who chairs the pro-gun Second Amendment Caucus, asked Bowman what he was talking about as he was walking past.
“I’m talking about gun violence!” Bowman shouted.
Massie began making an argument that schoolteachers should carry guns, incensing Bowman.
“Carry guns?” Bowman exclaimed. “More guns lead to more death.”
He accused Massie of “carrying water for the gun lobby.”
Massie then told Bowman to calm down.
“Calm down? Children are dying!” Bowman shouted. “The solution is not arming teachers.”
Massie once posted a Christmas photo of his family toting guns with the caption: “ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”
Bowman’s outburst comes in the wake of Monday’s mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Three 9-year-old children and three adults were killed by a shooter who, according to police, legally purchased seven firearms, including the two assault-style rifles and the pistol they were carrying, during the attack.
Many Americans, including President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers, have called for more effective gun control laws, such as restoring an assault weapon ban, following the attack. However, they face opposition from Republicans, many of whom receive substantial campaign donations from the gun lobby.