Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) says it’s “ridiculous” to blame guns for the Covenant School shooting that left three children and three adults dead in Nashville earlier this week.
Ogles, whose congressional district includes the location of the school, made the remark to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Friday after stating that “the government is being weaponized” against the political right.
“This clearly is someone who was deeply troubled,” he said of the shooting suspect, identified by police as Audrey Hale. Hale was fatally shot by officers responding to the attack, bringing the total number of deaths to seven.
“The idea that guns are the problem here is ridiculous. This individual had mental illness and [was] a murderer,” Ogles said.
He also said that hundreds of demonstrators “rushed and stormed” into the Tennessee State Capitol during a protest against gun violence Thursday.
Officials reported no arrests or property damage in the demonstration, The Tennessean reported.
“If you were to use J6 as the model, every one of those people should be incarcerated,” Ogles said on Fox News, referring to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Ogles’ remarks came after he facedbacklash for a resurfaced 2021 holiday photo that showed his family holding firearms in front of a Christmas tree. The congressman, who offered his “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of this week’s shooting, has defended his family for exercising their right to bear arms.