‘Those are just words’: Tennessee dem hammers GOP colleagues for offering ‘sympathy’ but not backing gun control

Daily Caller News Foundation

A Tennessee state lawmaker ripped Republican colleagues Tuesday for offering sympathy but not supporting gun control after a shooting at a private school in Nashville.

“Several came over to me express their sympathy,” Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons told CNN host Jim Sciutto. “Um, but you know, like you as a father, I’m absolutely heartbroken. As a legislator and a leader in this community. I’m angry that we haven’t taken action and I’ve had colleagues come over, like I said, and expressed sympathy and heartfelt emotion.”

“But again, those are just words,” Clemmons said. “What the people of Tennessee need, what the people of this country need is action.”


President Joe Biden, Congressional Democrats, media figures and celebrities demanded a ban on so-called “assault weapons” in the wake of the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, in which Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female shooter who identified as transgender, killed three children and three adults before being engaged and fatally wounded by law enforcement.

“What you have happening in Tennessee actually is action in the opposite direction,” Sciutto said. “You’ve got bills introduced by Republican colleagues to loosen, not tighten, gun restrictions.”

“Well we’ll continue to fight that battle. We’ve been fighting this for years,” Clemmons told Sciutto. “This is my ninth year in the state legislature in every single year, a new piece of legislation comes forward that would shock the conscience of most people… [W]hat we need is gun sense and not kowtowing to radical special interest groups… [W]e’ve been banning books up here, not guns.”

Clemmons blasted Republican Gov. Bill Lee for signing “constitutional carry” legislation and also bemoaned the presence of a manufacturing plant for Beretta, a prominent firearms manufacturer.

Republican state Rep. William Lamberth, the Tennessee House of Representatives majority leader, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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