March 27, 2023 — This past weekend, my wife and I went to our local supermarket to do our weekly shopping. While there, we saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt that proclaimed, “Gotta love guns.” When I heard the news about today’s slaughter of six human beings in Nashville, three of them young children ages 8 and 9, that woman was one of the first things I thought of.
I couldn’t help but wonder how she feels today … that the object of her affection was responsible for tearing apart six families; that the guns she loves so much deprived the parents of those children and the families of the others of the love they had for each other…which I bet was stronger than the love this woman has for her weapons. Actually, on second thought, maybe she loves her guns more than she loves people.
Maybe that’s what it’s all about. Guns give people a sense of power and superiority, while the love of family members, especially children, can’t compare.
The shooting took place at The Covenant School, a private Presbyterian school associated with the Covenant Presbyterian Church, which serves 200 students from preschool through sixth grade.
These kids’ parents must have thought a religious school would be a safe haven for their children.
The shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was armed with two “assault-style” weapons — a rifle and a pistol — as well as a handgun, authorities said.
The victims were identified as:
- Evelyn Dieckhaus, age 9
- Hallie Scruggs, age 9
- William Kinney, age 9
- Cynthia Peak, age 61
- Katherine Koonce, age 60
- Mike Hill, age 61.
(Different reports say one of the children was only 8 and was near his/her 9th birthday. Does it really matter?)
I want to make it clear that I understand that not all gun owners kill people. Most are law-abiding citizens who favor gun-safety laws and don’t deserve to be lumped in with the fanatics and nuts who think they need a gun to prove their worth or for revenge or to make a point. Those are the ones we need to fear.
I listened to many of the commentators who, today, spoke out about how guns are responsible for more dead children in this country than any disease, accident or whatever. And, I also heard about the republicans who proudly wear automatic-rifle pins to show their support for the devices of death that cause so much pain and suffering.
I cannot put into words the hatred, disgust and loathing I feel for these people and the National Rifle Association, which supports them.
Many people will write about today’s events and will be more eloquent than I ever could. But it is almost impossible to adequately express what I feel right now. Frustration is near the top of the list.
Gun supporters claim the Second Amendment allows people to carry guns. These people, however, don’t seem to understand the Second Amendment at all. When it was written, people needed guns to hunt for food and to protect themselves against the British, who were our enemies back then. Those reasons are long gone, and so should that logic.
And if the Founders had known what was coming — assault rifles designed to kill many people at once on the battlefield — they never would have written the Second Amendment as they did. Or they would have at least clarified weapons’ roles in a civilized society.
And I’m so tired of hearing people rightly say that automatic weapons should be banned and other measures should be taken to prevent this kind of thing from happening over and over with no result. But those who support gun ownership and few, or no, restrictions are as responsible for today’s deaths as the woman who pulled the trigger.
As usual in these kinds of cases, we really don’t know — and may never really know — why these innocent people were literally blown apart by an automatic weapon. And gun supporters really don’t care, I believe. If they did, action would have been taken by now.
There is so much more to say. But until more details come out, I will leave it here…with questions, uncertainties and pure anger.
Although I must say something about the shooter, who was shot dead by police, who, by all accounts acted swiftly and saved who knows how many lives. Part of me wants to celebrate her death. Good riddance, I say. But, on the other hand, and this is why I’m against the death penalty, I would much rather think of her rotting away in a cold, dark jail cell. Knowing she would suffer for the rest of her life would at least give me some comfort.
I hate to say this, but I am sure this will not be the last post I write about people using guns to kill and maim others. Until our government has the balls to do something, the carnage will continue.