A Tennessee congressman named Tim Burchett got an unexpected taste of the national spotlight this week after the Nashville school shooting. Interviewed after the assault, the Republican declared that "we're not gonna fix it" because "criminals are going to be criminals" even if tougher gun laws were put into place. On Thursday, Burchett went on Fox News and said he's been confronted with "hatred" over his words, reports the Hill. “I realize their hatred towards me and my beliefs, and that’s fine,” Burchett said on Fox and Friends First.
“They come back to me and say, ‘Burchett, look what your prayers have done for us.’" But he rejected that criticism. “Repenting of your sins and having some sort of reform in this country seems to me to be the way we’re going to have to turn this thing around because we have some very sick, evil people doing some very vile things." Democrats have pounced on Burchett's initial comments. Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas said Burchett and fellow Republicans are essentially telling victims and survivors that trying to find solutions is futile, per Rolling Stone. “Well, guess what? We have to fix it," she said. "It is our job to fix it. It is our obligation to fix it. ... If not now, when?” (Read more Nashville school shooting stories.)