Democrats have called on Republicans in the wake of the shooting, which killed 19 students and two teachers and injured more than a dozen others, to join them in their longstanding efforts to reform gun laws . Many Republicans have pointed to mental health, not guns, as a key driver of the mass shootings. Brooks went a step further on Sunday, attributing the rise in shootings to a “decline in moral values, a decline in respect for human life.”
Brooks, who recently qualified for the second round of the Republican nomination for a Senate seat in Alabama, pointed to the 2017 shooting at congressional baseball practice, which he was the target of, and said that the blame for such incidents of violence lies in the motivation.
“What we need to do is stop the motivation that drives these criminals, these horrible individuals to do what they are doing,” Brooks said.
It’s unclear what, if anything, motivated the shooter in Texas to kill young children.
Brooks’ comments marked a significant contrast to the stance taken by Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who in interviews on CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC’s “This Week” said that his views on gun laws had evolved recently. The moderate Republican said, among other changes, he was open to raising the long gun purchase age to 21.
“If you look at this shooting, you look at Buffalo, you look at Parkland and all these others, there are people taking these guns, these ARs, under 21,” Kinzinger told CNN host Dana bash. “Can we stop it all? No. Can we mitigate it, certainly. And we should do it now.
Asked if he still opposes a ban on the sale of the type of firearm used in many recent shootings, Kinzinger said he was open to it, depending on the details. But he was adamant that Second Amendment supporters like him needed to come to the table with “reasonable” solutions.
“My side doesn’t do that. My side does not present a reasonable means to defend an amendment that we believe is very important,” Kinzinger said. “And so I’m watching it go, okay, if people are going to come up with solutions to maybe certify who can buy an assault weapon, I’m definitely open to that.”