The city of Nashville is mourning the mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian Church School, where the gunman killed three children and three adults.
- On Monday morning, a 28-year-old transgender woman walked into a private school in the Nashville suburb of Green Hills and killed three children and three adults before being killed by the police.
- The individual’s motivation has not been publicly released, but Nashville police chief John Drake says, “There’s some belief that there was resentment for having to go to that school.”
- The alleged killer entered the school forcefully with two rifles, including an AR-15, and a handgun—and a search of the individual’s home revealed more weapons.
- The other 206 students of the private school were placed under police protection before being reunited with their parents several hours after the tragedy.
Why It’s Important
With any school shooting, there will always be a latency period between the initial tragedy and the explanation of what happened.
The police have access to the writings of the shooter, who say that the attack was calculated and planned. It remains unclear if the purpose of the crime was an anti-Christian hate crime or if a deeper mental illness problem played a role in the shooter’s actions.
Eighty-nine gun-related incidents have taken place at K-12 schools so far in 2023, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database. To date, there have been 131 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The surrounding cities in the Nashville area mourned the unnecessary and brutal loss of six people, including the daughter of Covenant Presbyterian Church Pastor Chad Scruggs—Hallie Scruggs. Dozens of local churches pulled together short-order prayer services for the victims, including neighboring Hickory Grove Presbyterian Church, saying, “In the face of events like these, the best thing we can do is direct our words toward the One who sees all, knows all, and hears all.”
Local gun-control advocates criticized this response, arguing that the shooting proved assault weapons legislation is necessary and that “thoughts and prayers” did nothing to stop the shooting. Nashville Mayor John Cooper criticized state Republicans, saying, “Guns lead to tragedies—we should not be worshipping the cult of the gun.” State Representative Bo Mitchell (D-District 50) agrees, saying, “The sound of the mother when she was told she’d never see her child again was indescribable. My children are worth every assault rifle in America.”
Gun advocates and Republicans alternatively argued that the act was a clear act of anti-Christian hatred and an expression of mental illness from an individual suffering from gender confusion. State Representative Tim Burchett (R-2nd District) argues that gun-control will not stop an individual from committing similar mass murder, “If somebody wants to take your life, there’s not alot you can do about it. I don’t think a criminal will be stopped by gun control… You have to change people’s hearts.”