There’s a lot we don’t yet know about the shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee, private Christian school that left three students and three teachers dead in addition to the shooter. But we know the most important things: This has to stop. This doesn’t happen in most countries. Too many people are dying to gun violence in general and mass shootings in particular in the United States of America and one of our major political parties is dedicated to keeping it that way.
In that vein, Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee came out with the predictable thoughts and prayers sentiment. “I am closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant, & the @TNDeptofSafety & @TNHighwayPatrol are assisting local law enforcement & first responders at the scene,” he tweeted. “As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.”
No comment there on what it says about the utility of prayer as the one and only response to these situations that this is a Christian school. Fine, pray, but stop pretending that’s all you can do.
RELATED STORY: Three children, three adults killed in Nashville school shooting
Oh, except Lee already has done something else, and Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts was right there to point it out:
Watts also offered this piece of perspective:
The shooter was reportedly armed with two assault rifles and a handgun. Early reports described her as a teenage girl, but Nashville police now say it was a 28-year-old woman.
Another voice against school shootings came out of nowhere in the wake of the shooting as this brave woman seized the airwaves:
“I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July,” she said. “I have met with over 130 lawmakers. How is this still happening? How are our children still dying and why are we failing them? Gun violence is the number one killer of children and teens. It has overtaken cars.”
She went on to argue, “Assault weapons are contributing to the border crisis and fentanyl. We are arming cartels with our guns and our loose guns laws, and these shootings and these mass shootings will continue to happen until our lawmakers step up and have gun safety legislation. I’m pretty sure this was an unsecured weapon that this teenager got ahold of. We can’t even pass gun safety, like safe storage laws in this country, to protect kids from getting ahold of weapons that they shoot each other with.”
Mexico has sued U.S. gunmakers for the flow of illegal weapons into the country, with the government saying that 70% to 90% of firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes originated in the U.S. A judge dismissed that lawsuit because gunmakers get ridiculously strong protections under U.S. law.
While it now appears that the shooter was not a teen who would have needed to take an unsecured gun from her parents, safe storage laws seem like a no-brainer in a country where, as the woman accurately noted, guns are the leading cause of death for children. According to Everytown, every year nearly 350 children and teens unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, and up to 80% of gunfire at schools involve kids who got the gun from their home or someone else’s home, pointing again to the need for guns to be locked up where kids can’t get them.