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Republican Nashville politician doesn't regret posting family photo posing with assault rifles

Republican Nashville politician doesn't regret posting family photo posing with assault rifles

He's defended the controversial image

A Republican Nashville politician has proudly defended a picture of him and his family posing with assault rifles, despite a recent school shooting happening in the district.

On Monday (27 March), a shooter entered the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee and shot and killed three children and three adults, before being shot dead by police.

Back in 2021, pro-gun congressman Andy Ogles was pictured with his wife, daughter and two sons in front of their Christmas tree as they smile for a holiday photo with their rifles.

The only person not holding a gun was Ogles' youngest child.

The picture sparked fierce backlash when Ogles first shared it from those in favour of stronger gun control laws in the US.

Ogles has since deleted the image from his Facebook account, but it has resurfaced and already caught the eye of the media and politicians in opposition to the Nashville congressman in the aftermath of the recent school shooting.

The controversial image was swiftly deleted by the politician in 2021.
Andy Ogles

Defending the image, despite deleting it, Ogles told Sky US he didn't regret the image.

Speaking to Sky, he said: "Why would I regret a photograph with my family exercising my rights to bear arms?"

When asked why he had removed the image from his social media since the Nashville shooting but not after previous school attacks he refused to give an answer.

On his website, Mr Ogles states: "The rights of the people to keep and bear arms, protect themselves and their families, and prevent tyrannical rule is a fundamental liberty of our constitutional republic."

After the devastating mass shooting on Monday in Nashville, Mr Ogles released a statement saying said he was 'devastated' by the attack.

He said: "We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost. As a father of three, I am utterly heartbroken by this senseless act of violence."

When asked whether there should be any congressional action in the wake of the mass shooting, Mr Ogles said: "We don't want to jump to any conclusions. There's still a lot more information about this case that hasn't been let out to the public.

"Ultimately I think what this does is highlight some of the mental health issues, the mental health crisis we have in this country that needs to be the real conversation we're having right now."

However, Ogles' words sparked gun control advocates to dig into his social media history, highlighting the previously deleted festive post of his family displaying heavy weaponry.

The caption on the post read: "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honour with all that's good."

The image was highly criticised by pro gun control advocates and Democrat politicians.

Highlighting the bizarre firearms festive photo, Democrat representative Veronica Escobar tweeted: "How much more bloodshed will it take?"

She added: "It's. The. Guns."

Fred Guttenberg, a gun control supporter whose 14-year-old child was killed in the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida, also hit out at Mr Ogles.

He tweeted: "The tragedy of the latest mass shooting is listening to Tennessee politicians who refuse to call it a shooting but who engaged in behaviour that caused this to be more likely when they glorify guns."

Featured Image Credit: Andy Ogles / Camden Hall / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Politics, US News, Gun Crime