Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y. and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. had a heated exchange over gun violence outside the House chamber on Wednesday, just two days after a shooter killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Bowman, a former New York City school principal who’s worked as an educator for two decades, was demanding reporters ask Republicans their plan to address gun violence. He had been calling Republicans “freaking cowards” and “gutless” when Massie, an avid gun supporter, interjected.
“You know there’s never been a school shooting in a school that allows teachers to carry,” Massie said, inciting Bowman further.
“Carry guns? More guns lead to more deaths!” Bowman yelled. “Look at the data, you’re not looking at any data. States that have open carry laws have more deaths!”
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. made an effort to intervene. The exchange ultimately lasted about a minute and a half with Massie leaving to pitch reporters on a bill to arm teachers and Bowman exiting the Capitol, but not before yelling “Ask him: Why won't they pass legislation? Ask him the question right now. Make him answer.”
Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries was asked about the exchange Thursday morning.
“I haven't spoken to Congressman Bowman,” he told reporters. “I've only seen some brief news clips about the situation. I'm gonna refrain from commenting about what may or may not have taken place until I talked to him. But I do understand that passions are running high on the issue. Our children are being slaughtered in the streets of America.”