On Monday, it was Nashville’s turn to join the roster of cities made notorious by a mass shooting epidemic. The attacker, identified as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, was a former student at the Covenant School, where three young students and three staff members were gunned down. Hale was armed with two assault-style rifles and was shot and killed by authorities in a lobby area on the second floor of the school roughly 14 minutes after the 911 call was placed.
Authorities identified the victims as 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, as well as 61-year-old Cynthia Peak, 60-year-old Katherine Koonce, and 61-year-old Mike Hill.
During an event in Washington, first lady Jill Biden said, “While you’ve been in this room, I don’t know whether you’ve been on your phones, but we just learned about another shooting in Tennessee – a school shooting – and I am true without words… Our children deserve better. And we stand, all of us, we stand with Nashville in prayer.”
Earlier this month, Biden announced a new slate of executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence and the proliferation of guns sold to prohibited people. These measures were aimed at stiffening background checks, promoting more secure firearms storage, and ensuring law enforcement agencies get more out of a bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer. His actions did not change government policy but instead directed federal agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws and procedures.
However, Biden said that more needs to be done to stop gun violence.“It’s ripping our communities apart,” he said, “It’s about time we began to make some more progress.” This led President Biden to reiterate his calls to Congress to take legislative action.
As mentioned by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Nashville school shooting was “devastating,” “heartbreaking,” and “unacceptable”.
“How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban, to close loopholes in our background check system, or to require the safe storage of guns?” she added. “Our children should be able to go to school feeling safe, feeling protected.”