On March 27, 2023, Nashville, Tennessee was upended by the Covenant Christian School shooting.
At 10:11 a.m. EDT, 28-year-old shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale let loose a torrent of 152 bullets – killing three nine-year-old children and three of the school’s adult staff members before responding officers ended her life.
Hale, a transgender alumni of the school with a history of mental illness, left writings the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) says indicated “her planning over a period of months to commit mass murder at the Covenant School.”
Far from the first massacre of this nature, Hale’s rampage reminded policymakers and activists – local and national – of the dozens of similar shootings that have taken place in recent memory. Nashville mayor John Cooper expressed his condolences and feelings saying “we must come together as a community and demand action to prevent these tragedies from happening again.”
David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting said lawmakers must “ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and we need to require background checks on all gun sales.”
Hogg wasn’t the only one calling for serious reform. On March 30, hundreds of protesters – many of them students – assembled at the state capitol. Clashes with police ensued as an effort was made to return order to the room.
As protesters’ chants rang through the halls, legislators continued their work in the chamber. Then things took a turn when state representative Justin Jones tweeted “there comes a time when you have to do something out of the ordinary.'”
The tweet explained that Jones and fellow representatives Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson “occupied the House floor today” after having been repeatedly “silenced from talking about the crisis of mass shootings” by the body’s GOP majority.
The trio ensured they would not be silenced again by bringing a megaphone with them to the well.
House speaker Cameron Sexton called the occupation “unacceptable” in a tweet, and multiple resolutions to expel the protesting members were introduced on Monday.
One resolution said the members “did knowingly and intentionally bring disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives through their individual and collective actions.”
A motion to consider the resolution was met with jeers from protesters, who were subsequently removed from the House gallery.
Jones, Pearson and Johnson have been stripped of their committee assignments, and have had their member indication badges deactivated as of this writing.
As tensions in Tennessee continue to rise – and spill over into the legislature – count on this news outlet to continue tracking the fallout from the Covenant Christian School shooting and its impact on the public discourse and on public policy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
(Via: Coleman Rojhan)
Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Dylan primarily covers education when he isn’t producing video content. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.