GOP senator on gun control: Congress has gone ‘about as far as we’re going to’
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said on Wednesday that he believes lawmakers have gone “about as far as we’re going to” on gun control legislation following a shooting at a Nashville elementary school this week.
“There isn’t anybody here that, if they could find the right approach, wouldn’t try to do something because they feel that pain,” Rounds told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “And yet, when we start talking about bans or challenging on the Second Amendment, I think the things that have already been done have gone about as far as we’re going to with gun control.”
Instead, Rounds suggested that Congress reallocate $500 million in funds that had been intended to put solar panels on schools toward increasing school security and making school buildings “more difficult to get in to.”
He pointed to reports that the shooter at The Covenant School, a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tenn., was scouting a second target but gave up after determining it had “too much security.”
The 28-year-old shooter, a former student at the school, killed three staff members and three 9-year-old students on Monday before being killed by police.
Rounds is not alone among his Republican colleagues in suggesting that there is little Congress can do on the issue. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said on Tuesday that he doesn’t see “any real role” for Congress to play in reducing gun violence.
“It’s a horrible, horrible situation,” Burchett told reporters. “And we’re not gonna fix it. Criminals are gonna be criminals.”
President Biden has expressed frustration with Congress’ lack of action on guns after Monday’s shooting, slamming Republicans for the holdup and pushing for a ban on assault rifles.
“The Congress has to act. The majority of the American people think having assault weapons is bizarre, it’s a crazy idea. They’re against that,” Biden said. “I can’t do anything except plead with Congress to act reasonably.”
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