Video of the incident shows Bowman, a Democrat whose 16th District covers southern Westchester County and parts of the Bronx, arguing with Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie in a hallway outside the House chamber on Wednesday, March 29.
In the clip, Bowman, a former teacher and middle school principal in the Bronx, is seen telling reporters that Republicans are “cowards” and “gutless” for not supporting legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
As Bowman speaks, Massie walks up and asks what he’s talking about, sparking a nearly two-minute shouting match between the two.
“I’m talking about gun violence,” Bowman responds.
Massie then interjects, saying, “You know there’s never been a school shooting in a school that allows teachers to carry?”
Bowman, outraged by the remark, begins yelling as the two stand face to face.
“Carry guns?” he yells. “More guns lead to more deaths. Look at the data. You’re not looking at any data.”
Bowman then cites studies, including one by Everytown for Gun Safety, that found that homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths involving guns are more prevalent in states with weaker gun laws.
“States that have open carry laws have more death,” Bowman says.
Massie then tells Bowman to “calm down,” to which Bowman replies, “Calm down? Children are dying! Nine-year-old children.”
Bowman then repeatedly asks Massie whether he’s ever worked in a school, which Massie ignores.
“It’s a yes or no question,” Bowman says. “You will not answer my question.”
Massie is then seen walking away as Bowman continues shouting that he was a teacher for 20 years. He tells reporters to ask Republicans why they won’t pass gun control legislation.
Bowman later addressed the confrontation on Twitter, saying “Republicans won’t do (expletive) when it comes to gun violence, but try to tell me to calm down. No. We can’t calm down. People are dying everyday while we wait.”
Massie later accused Bowman of ignoring his solutions in a Twitter post of his own.
“He wanted to discuss solutions to school shootings, but when I offered a solution he began shouting. When he asked for data, I gave him data, but then he just shouted more,” Massie said. “Bring facts. There’s never been a school shooting in the hundreds of schools that allow staff to carry.”
On Thursday, March 30, Massie Tweeted a text message from someone claiming to be a teacher and bus driver, saying they would “love” to be able to carry concealed or open “on every school campus I’m on and school bus I drive.”
Addressing the text message, Massie wrote, “The reality is it only takes a few individuals like this person (who just texted me) to keep our kids safe, primarily as a deterrent to the psychopaths who choose unprotected targets.”
Wednesday’s confrontation in the halls of Congress came two days after a 28-year-old gunman shot and killed three students and three staff members at The Covenant School, a private Presbyterian parochial school in Nashville.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Southwest Dutchess and receive free news updates.