Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on Wednesday defended a tweet he posted in the wake of the Washington, DC Navy Yard shooting that seemed to implicate the National Rifle Association in the incident, adding that he's not sure what the right wing holds more dear: guns or Bibles.
Cohen on Monday tweeted a political cartoon that depicted a rifle inscribed with "NRA" on the stock, which was part of a series of cartoons on gun violence. The gunman in the Navy Yard Shooting was widely speculated to have used an AR-15 rifle until the FBI said it had "no information"that was true. Instead, the FBI said he had a shotgun and handgun with him at the time of the shooting.
"I wanted to show we have gun violence, gun culture," Cohen told MSNBC's Alex Wagner on Wednesday. "We need to respond to it ... I think there definitely is a connection between the NRA and the continuing gun culture that we have that needs to be limited to protect Americans."
When Wagner asked what Cohen made of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) assertion that there aren't enough votes to revive gun control legislation that failed in the Senate in April, Cohen said "it's sad." The Tennessee Democrat agreed the votes just aren't there.
"The Republicans will shy away from it," he elaborated. "I got the vitriol on Twitter from all these people that opposed that cartoon. They are hardcore Republicans. This means more to them. I think their guns are right there next to their Bibles. I'm not sure which they find more important to them."
Correction: This post originally incorrectly described the gun depicted in the cartoon as an AR-15. It has been updated to clarify that the cartoon did not classify what type of rifle was depicted. It has also been updated to correct a reference to the stock of the gun.