NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Monday, March 27 (Reuters) – A heavily armed 28-year-old fatally shot three children and three adult staffers on Monday at a private Christian school the suspect once attended in Tennessee’s capital city before police killed the assailant, authorities said.
The motive was not immediately known but the suspect had drawn detailed maps of the school, including entry points for the building, and left behind a “manifesto” and other writings that investigators were examining, Police Chief John Drake told reporters.
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The victims were three nine year old children, a 61 year old custodian, substitute teacher, and the 60 year old headmaster.
The shooter, who was killed by police, was confirmed as Audrey Hale, a 28 year old, transgendered person and former student.
There are all sorts of understandable reactions. There are all sorts of understandable emotions. Prayers are wise. Increased preventative action is wise, too. We can’t stop evil from happening on this planet, but we can proactively work to make various manifestations of evil less likely to happen.
Hence, what can we do? Solutions are necessary; answers aren’t easy. That shouldn’t stop us from trying to solve and minimize this evil. Our leaders, however, struggle with the simplest of conversations; they spend too much time claiming credit and dispensing blame. On the left. On the right. They let too many lobbyists and adulterated motivations get in the way.
They are collectively, consistently inconsistent in pursuing what’s best for all people. They play politics. They juxtapose unrelated issues as emotional rallying cries. And arguably most irritating to the future voter’s eye, they loudly attempt to take the moral high ground when in all the time beforehand, zero high ground was faintly evident.
Too much. Too impure of motives. Too much political dysfunction. Again, on the left. On the right. We crave solution and our country’s beloved, youngest generation to be fiercely protected. In all things.
Thus, we rawly ask today both what’s necessary and inconvenient. There is no intended disrespect. We just deeply love our kids.
So, sitting in the sobering wake, we ask…
Why kill the innocent? What iniquity or unrest resides within a person that makes them want to ever intentionally end the life of another?
What gun measures would have effectively prevented this shooting? What more can be done in our schools?
What already-in-play Tennessee gun control measures were not effective?
What mental health issues were in play?
What impact did Hale’s identity as a transgendered person play or not play in the shooting?
What impact did the killer’s parents and family of origin have on the shooter?
Why go after a Christian school? Is this a hate crime then, noting that hate crimes are motivated by prejudice on the basis of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or similar grounds?
What was in the shooter’s head?
What don’t we know yet?
And… what aspect in all of the above have we each either diminished or overlooked because it messes with our desired narrative?
Let’s be honest. When we craft a desired narrative in our head, we reject any objective data or inconvenient question that competes with said narrative.
No easy answers today, friends. No quick solutions either. Yet. But let’s keep searching. Let’s keep talking. Let’s figure it out. And let’s be respectful in the process, not taking the bait lured via the partisan games and political players. We want something better. We want what’s best for all people. Especially, now, for our kids.