A Republican politician representing the Nashville area that killed six people in a school shooting has defended a controversial photo of him and his family brandishing an assault rifle.
Pro-gun Congressman Andy Ogles poses with his wife, daughter and two sons in front of their Christmas tree. The only person not photographed with a gun was his youngest child.
Rep. Ogles, who was criticized by gun control supporters and Democrats for the 2021 photo, has since deleted it from his Facebook account.
Asked by Sky America’s James Matthews if he regretted posting on social media, the MP replied: “Why would I regret a photo with my family exercising my right to bear arms?”
He then refused to explain why he deleted the photo from Facebook nashville shootingbut not after the previous school attack.
“The right of people to keep and bear arms, to protect themselves and their families, and to prevent tyranny is a fundamental freedom of our constitutional republic,” Mr Ogles said on his website.
back Audrey Hale’s shooting at Covenant School on MondayMr Ogles issued a statement saying he was “appalled” by the attack that killed three children and three adults.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims,” Mr. Ogles said. “As a father of three, I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence.”
But gun control advocates then delved into his social media history, highlighting festive posts in which his family displayed heavy weapons.
The caption on the post read: “Gun vibe anywhere and everywhere suppresses evil distractions – they deserve credit and all good places.”
Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar highlighted the same photo on Twitter: “How much more bloodshed?”
“Yes. Gun,” she added.
Gun control supporter Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old was killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, also blasted Mr. Ogles.
“The tragedy of this latest mass shooting is that politicians in Tennessee refuse to call it a shooting, yet their actions make it more likely,” Mr. Gutenberg tweeted.
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Asked whether Congress should take any action in the wake of the mass shooting, Mr. Ogles said: “We don’t want to jump to any conclusions. There’s a lot of information about this case that hasn’t been released to the public.”
“Ultimately, I think it will highlight some of the mental health issues that we have in this country that need to be a real conversation we’re having right now,” he added.
The attack stopped Monday after the attacker, Audrey Hale, was shot and killed by officers. body camera footage of that moment Has been released by the police.