Nashville families push for gun control

AP Photo/John Amis

In the wake of any mass shooting, you routinely get calls for gun control. This is kind of the unfortunate natural order of things. In fact, it doesn’t even matter where it happens, you’re going to see it.


We started the year with two mass shootings in California less than two days apart and what did people go on about? Needing more gun control. It was kind of sad, really.

So no one should be shocked that after Nashville, we saw a push for gun control. In fact, families of the victims and survivors of that shooting are gearing up to make a push for it.

Pausing at the microphone, 6-year-old Noah took a breath and softly stated, “I don’t want any guns today or any day in my school.”

His mom, Sarah Shoop Neumann, wiped away tears as she held the young boy. It had been more than four months since a shooter indiscriminately opened fire while Noah was at a private elementary school in Nashville, killing three of his schoolmates and three adults. And Neumann wanted action.

Joining a group of families from The Covenant School, Neumann and others on Thursday announced that they had created two nonprofits to not only promote school safety and mental health resources, but also form an action fund to push legislative policy changes that would place certain limits on firearms inside the politically ruby red state of Tennessee.

“We can create brighter tomorrows for our state so no other community has to endure the suffering,” Neumann told reporters at a news conference. “And our children can go to school without fear.”


Except, that fear isn’t really based on any probabilities. The odds of someone being involved in a mass shooting at all is pretty astronomical, all things considered, so being afraid of such a thing at school isn’t really rational.

Now, I get fear isn’t always rational, but it’s definitely not helping when moms lean into the fear and try to capitalize on it like this.

I won’t pretend to know what that kid went through, or his parents, but gun control isn’t the solution.

Unfortunately, that’s precisely what they want.

The group’s announcement is the latest development in the ongoing tension over whether Republican-dominant Tennessee will pass meaningful legislation in response to The Covenant School shooting. While gun control advocates have pushed for stricter regulations on firearms for years, these families are hoping to make greater strides with conservative lawmakers by using commonalities in their faith and, for some, their political backgrounds, while stressing the need to prevent future tragedies.


Yet gun rights advocates in Tennessee need to point out that there was a lot going on here, much of which we still don’t know as there’s been no release of the manifesto.

We do know the killer hit that particular school because the first choice was too secure. That suggests security should be a bigger priority with schools in general, only we get to have this debate time and time again.

These parents are going to push. Gun rights advocates in Tennessee need to stand ready to push back.

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