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Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell says Republicans who oppose gun bans are ‘siding with the killers’

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., says Republicans who stand in opposition to a ban on certain types of firearms are “siding with the killers,” just days after a Nashville school shooting left six people dead. The comments from Swalwell, who serves as a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, came during a Wednesday evening appearance he made on MSNBC. “If we had Republican allies here, we could protect children from what’s killing them most,” Swalwell said. “So you as a Republican, I think by your negligence in protecting them, you can either side with the kids and protect them or we’re gonna say that you’re siding with the killers because there’s no other way to describe who’s benefiting from your absolute inaction.” Describing child safety precautions such as the adequate storage of cleaning materials in homes and buckling children into car seats when traveling, Swalwell said, “Everything we do is designed to protect them because they’re the most precious people in our community, they’re the most innocent people in our community.” NASHVILLE COVENANT SCHOOL HEAD OF SCHOOL HAILED AS HERO IN WAKE OF SHOOTING: ‘SHE PROTECTED HER CHILDREN’ Swalwell insisted Congress is doing everything to keep children safe “except protect them from the one thing that is killing them more than anything else, and that’s gun violence. That’s what’s so maddening.” “Every Republican on that committee, when they go home this weekend and face their voters, many will ask them, ‘What did you do on the only committee that has jurisdiction on gun safety?’ and they’re gonna have to tell them, ‘We sided with Donald Trump over your kids,’” Swalwell said. Swalwell’s comments come after six people — three children and three employees — were shot and killed by a former student Monday at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Head of school Katherine Koonce, 60, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and custodian Mike Hill, also 61, were killed in the gunfire. Three 9-year-old students were also killed: Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney. The Presbyterian school released a statement Tuesday morning saying that their “community is heartbroken” following the events of the shooting. “We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing,” the Covenant School, which operates as a ministry of Nashville’s Covenant Presbyterian Church, said on Tuesday. REX ENGELBERT AND MICHAEL COLLAZO: WHO ARE THE NASHVILLE OFFICERS WHO TOOK DOWN THE COVENANT SCHOOL SHOOTER? “We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, and we are tremendously grateful to the first responders who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff.” Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old transgender former student, shot through a locked glass door and entered the school armed with two rifles and a handgun around 10:13 a.m. on Monday morning. Officer Rex Engelbert, 27, arrived soon after the shooting began and immediately starting clearing classrooms with other officers in search of the shooter. When Hale started firing at other responding officers from the second floor, Engelbert ran upstairs with Officer Michael Collazo, 31, and confronted Hale. Hale had legally purchased seven firearms from five different gun stores in the Nashville area and hid them from her family. She was under a doctor’s care for an unspecified emotional disorder at the time of the shooting and her parents didn’t believe she should own weapons, police said. A search of her vehicle and home turned up writings and hand drawn diagrams of the school that indicate the attack was “calculated and planned,” according to police. The Covenant School, which was founded in 2001, serves students from preschool to 6th grade. Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this article.

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