Mitch McConnell: There's not much the federal government can do about school shootings

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he thinks the federal government can’t do much to help stop school shootings.

“I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do other than appropriate funds,” McConnell said while speaking to community leaders in Danville, Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

McConnell said he feels heightened security in schools may help prevent shootings but argued that’s not the responsibility of the U.S. Congress.

“You would think, given how much it takes to get on an American plane or given how much it takes to get into courthouses, that this might be something that we could achieve, but I don’t think we could do that from Washington, I think it’s basically a local decision,” he said.

“It’s a darn shame that’s where we are, but this epidemic is something that’s got all of our attention,” he added.

Photos: 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre

18 PHOTOS
Protests on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting
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Protests on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
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McConnell, who has received money from the National Rifle Association, has repeatedly expressed his sadness over school shootings, regularly offering thoughts and prayers while working against gun control legislation in the Senate.

The debate over gun control was renewed this week after five people were shot and killed in a Maryland newsroom.

After a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead in February, President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers, toughening background checks, opening more mental hospitals and increasing the age limit to 21 for purchasing some weapons, but he did not offer support for legislation to help prevent gun violence. After speaking on the Senate floor about the “brutal, pointless violence” of the Parkland shooting, McConnell largely remained silent on the issue.

22 PHOTOS
Parkland, Fla. keeps memory of shooting alive
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Parkland, Fla. keeps memory of shooting alive
An empty chair is seen in front of flowers and mementoes placed on a fence to commemorate the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Daniela Menescal, who was injured by shrapnel during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, wears a t-shirt with the names of the victims of the shooting, as she plays the piano at her house in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Daniela Menescal (R), who was injured by shrapnel during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, attends a baseball game her brother is playing in, in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, cries next to his family after painting a mural to commemorate the victims of the shooting and promote gun control in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2018. Listening to his son's favourite music, Oliver painted the mural from beginning to end, but as soon as he finished, he broke down and had to walk inside the hotel to mourn. Later he went out again to give interviews to the media to call for more gun control. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, cries in his hotel room before painting a mural to commemorate the victims of the shooting and promote gun control in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2018. Minutes before leaving the hotel room to paint the mural, Oliver put on his son's headphones and played his favourite music. Almost immediately, he started to cry and he had to take them off. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
A man looks at pictures of the victims of the mass shooting in Parkland on the program during the graduation ceremony for students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Manuel Oliver (R) and Patricia Padauy (2nd R), parents of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, look at the screen as they wait backstage to receive their son's diploma during his graduation ceremony in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Patricia Padauy, the mother of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds up her son's diploma during his graduation ceremony in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, attend their graduation ceremony in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, walks past his son's classmates, during their graduation ceremony in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attend their graduation ceremony in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Daniela Menescal, who was injured by shrapnel during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, helps her brother practice baseball at their house in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Autographed sports t-shirts, pictures and placards are seen among other mementoes at the room of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, at his house in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
The entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is seen after the police security perimeter was removed, following a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 18, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
A member of the media pushes a cart full of equipment in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, following a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 18, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A garbage bag full of crime scene tape is seen close to the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, after the police security perimeter was removed, following a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 18, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Patricia Padauy, the mother of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, talks to a journalist during an interview before attending her son's high school graduation ceremony to receive his diploma, at home in Parkland, Florida, U.S., June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Daniela Menescal, who was injured by shrapnel during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, looks for her belongings inside her clear backpack at her house in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
The initials of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a placard are placed on the fence at Park Trails Elementary School, following a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver one of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds up a placard as he paints a mural to commemorate the victims of the shooting and promote gun control in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2018. As he paints the mural Oliver listens to his son's favourite music on the headphones that belonged to him. The mural depicts his son the day that he died, carrying flowers to his girlfriend for Valentine's day. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Carlos Rodriguez (2nd R), student and shooting survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, talks with his schoolmates and co-founders of Stories Untold, a movement created to encourage victims of gun violence to share their stories, during a meeting at his house in Parkland, Florida, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
Pictures of Joaquin Oliver and Aaron Feis, victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, are seen on a cross placed in a park to commemorate the victims, in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 19, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
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