The world has been saddened by the recent school shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. This horrific event resulted in the death of three students who were just nine years of age, named Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, in addition to three faculty members, named Mike Hill, Cynthia Peak and Katherine Coonce. Evelyn Dieckhaus was described as a “shining light,” and was killed trying to pull the fire alarm to protect her classmates. William Kinney was known to be an amazing brother and to have an “unflappable spirit.” Hallie Scruggs’s father is the pastor at the church of the school and he called Hallie “a gift.” Mike Hill was a beloved custodian at the Covenant School, who was often referred to as “Big Mike.” Cynthia Peak was a beloved substitute teacher at the school and also happened to be best friends with Maria Lee, who is the wife of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. Katherine Coonce was the beloved head of the school, and she died protecting her students.

A vigil at the Covenant School is being visited by a mourner for the six people who were killed in the school shooting.

You would expect that this event to cause the government to pass better gun control, but that is not the case. Within the first three months of this year, 130 mass shootings have occurred in the United States, as well as 39 school gunfire incidents, which led to the deaths of 18 people. There is no way that people should be able to purchase guns intended for military personnel and barely have to pass a background test or not even take one.  

This situation is exacerbated by the very conservative Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is very pro-gun and has been spreading transphobic sentiment, since the shooter was transgender, instead of speaking about the tragedy of the shooting and how it should be addressed so that situations like this can be prevented. Also, Tennessee Representative Andy Ogles, who represents the district where the Covenant School is located, sent out a Christmas card in 2021 where every member of his family proudly displayed the new assault rifles they had gotten. After the shooting, he responded to criticism of the card saying “Why would I regret a photograph with my family exercising my rights to bear arms?” Although he was shocked by this event and sent love to the families who were affected, he clearly does not believe the thing that caused these deaths should be further regulated.

Earlier in March, the Republican governor of Tennessee Bill Lee made Tennessee the first state to restrict drag shows on public property or anywhere where minors might be present. It is crazy that the governor of a state feels like he has to protect children from being indoctrinated by drag shows, but does not even do anything to protect kids who are dying from school shootings in his own state. There is so much more he can do to “protect children” since the state has incredibly lenient gun control laws. For example, guns in Tennessee do not have to be registered by the state and people in Tennessee do not need a permit to have a concealed gun if they are 21 years of age or older. They are even trying to make concealed carry legal for 18-year-olds. Lee thinks that having officers armed with handguns at schools will stop this issue, but these shooters have access to AR-15s, which are much deadlier than handguns, so this defense would not actually prove to be that successful.

Although six people tragically died in this event, the police got to the scene quickly and were able to prevent the shooter from killing any more people by killing the shooter. The police acted well and served their duty in protecting their community, but this has not been the case in all school shootings. In May of 2022, the police acted very slowly in protecting the students when there was a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. To be specific, the police entered the school three minutes after the gunman did but it took them over an hour to stop the shooting, and during that time 21 people died. Some people believed that the police waited longer because the school was not a primarily white institution.

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