The debate for gun control in the US has picked up steam after six people were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Nashville. Two nine-year-old girls, a nine-year-old boy, two teachers and a school custodian died in the attack. The shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, purchased seven weapons legally from five different gun stores, police said.
But while the public and critics are having a heated debate over gun rights, a Republican senator has said that the situation is horrible, but the government cannot fix it.
“We’re not gonna fix it,” Republican Tim Burchett told reporters after the shooting in his home state Tennessee.
“Criminals are gonna be criminals,” he added.
When asked if the country needs stricter gun laws, Mr Burchett said lawmakers would only mess things up and hence the issue should not be raised in the Congress.
He did offer a solution though – change people’s hearts.
“I don’t think you’re gonna stop the gun violence. I think you gotta change people’s hearts,” he said.
The senator said that if a person is determined to kill, there’s not much that can stop them.
The Nashville shooter, Audrey Hale was armed with two assault rifles and a handgun upon entering the small Christian academy of about 200 students, which he had once attended as a pupil. He was killed in the attack.
In a chilling security camera video, Hale is seen shooting through glass doors to enter the school before stalking the empty halls as emergency lights flash.
Hale, wearing a black military-style vest, camouflage pants and red baseball cap, moved through the building, opening fire on children and staff.
President Joe Biden warned that gun violence was “ripping the soul of this nation,” and urged Congress to reinstate the national assault rifle ban, which existed from 1994 to 2004.
Efforts to ban the powerful weapons have run up against opposition from Republicans, staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms.
The political deadlock endures even though there have been 129 mass shootings in the US — defined as incidents in which four or more people were shot or killed — so far this year.