Once again, our nation came together to mourn another tragic and senseless shooting at a school that left three children and three adults dead. The shooting occurred in Nashville at the Covenant School.
The tragedy then gave way to a predictable cycle: shock, outrage, and fury at how a country could allow this to keep happening. That was crystallized by a mother outside Covenant who took her anger onto the Fox News airwaves. The mother, Ashbey Beasley, had also been in Highland Park, Illinois during a shooting at a Fourth of July Parade last year.
“It’s only in America can somebody survive a mass shooting and then go on vacation …and find themselves near another mass shooting,” she said. Beasley and her family deserve better. We all deserve better. But in Texas, that’s not what the Republicans in charge want.
There were two school shootings in North Texas alone last week. Jashawn Poirier, 16-years-old, was killed by a classmate at Lamar High School in Arlington. And in Dallas, a lockdown went into place at Thomas Jefferson High School (a student was shot but is expected to recover). There is no way to recover, however, from the trauma that is inflicted on the students, the teachers, and community as a whole after a school shooting.
We’re less than two months away from the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left two adults and nineteen children dead. Days after that horrific tragedy, the National Rifle Association (NRA) hosted their annual convention in Houston. Governor Abbott canceled a planned in-person speech, but still taped a message for those attending.
The gun lobby in Texas is powerful, and its grip on Republicans is intractable. It also flies in the face of logic as anyone who heard Beasley’s viral Fox News moment can attest. She correctly noted that guns are the leading cause of death for children in this country.
In America, a child is less likely to reach the age of five than in any other high-income country. There are several factors for that, but a major one is gun violence.
Right now, “protecting” children at the Texas Capitol comes in the form of banning books, booting drag queens from public life, and making life miserable and intolerable for trans children.
But the facts are clear: if you want to actually protect children, do something about the guns.