Updated 3:25 p.m. ET
Had Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung kept a gun in her office, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, argued today, the Newtown, Conn., shooting Friday that left 20 students and six faculty members dead would have had a far less tragic result.
"I wish to God she had had an M4 [carbine rifle] in her office locked up and so when she heard gunshots... she takes his head off before he can hurt those kids," Gohmert said of Hochsprung - who was among those killed - on FOX News Sunday. The alleged gunman, Adam Lanza, murdered his mother at home before driving to the school and killing 27 more, including himself.
"Every mass killing of more than three people in recent history has been in a place where guns were prohibited," he continued. "They choose this place, they know no one will be armed."
A vocal leader in the right-wing tea party movement, Gohmert stands out among conservatives who have been lying low since President Obama on Friday suggested the tragedy will give way to "meaningful action" on the gun issue; Gohmert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, were the only pro-gun lawmakers or advocates to accept the networks' requests for interviews on the Sunday political shows.
Republican congressional leadership, like House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have been silent on the issue since Friday, while the airwaves have been flooded with pro-gun control supporters, rendering Gohmert and Chaffetz the de facto spokesmen for congressional Republicans today.
Gohmert maintained that more, not fewer, guns is the answer, but said he agreed with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that any debate about reform needs to be "open-minded."
"Sen. Durbin's right... the conversation we've got to have has got to have everybody open-minded," Gohmert said. "We all react emotionally, that's why we've all shed tears and our prayers will continue to go to the people in Connecticut who've lost loved ones."