Nashville School Shooting Sparks Protests for Harsher Gun Control

By Savitha Srinivasan — Correspondent

On March 27, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee’s Convent school, 6 people were killed by a school shooter, and in hope for change, hundreds of protesters walked out of school at 10:13 A.M., the same time the shooter in Nashville opened fire, and arrived at the Capitol demanding harsher gun control. 

A group of Williamson County School students have expressed their fear of going to school, living in fear every day of the week. They want to make sure weapons can be taken away, even just temporarily, from anyone who is deemed a threat. The students said that they felt their cries to state leaders for help and change are being ignored, and they hope their message can leave an impact.

Ruby Linstroth, a Franklin High School student (Franklin, TN), begged state leaders to help stop these attacks. “I don’t want to die in school. I don’t want to be gunned down and I don’t want that to be my ending,” she said.

Three State Representatives, Justin Jones, Justin J. Pearson, and Gloria Johnson, had their mics turned off when they tried to show support for the protestors. They proceeded to show solidarity by stalling the legislative procedures in chanting “No action, no peace.” These three representatives are now known as “The Tennessee Three.”

Two of the three representatives were expelled from the court and Johnson spoke about her speculations as to why she was not expelled. “It might have to do with the color of our skin,” she said. Republican leaders have denied that race was a factor in the decision.

Johnson explained why she wanted to talk at the podium in the first place. “We wanted to welcome the protesters there. We wanted to honor the issue they were talking about. And we were not given the opportunity. … So, we decided that, between bills, we were going to walk to the podium and thank the protesters for being there, and acknowledge the issue of gun violence,” she said.

Vice President Kamala Harris, in a last-minute trip to Tennessee, called for harsher gun laws and criticized the Republican-controlled house for their expulsion of the two African American representatives. In her opinion, the representatives were being stifled for speaking up for the lives and fear of the school children.

President Joe Biden has expressed his opinion of the expulsion. “Shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent,” he said.

“Rather than debating the merits of the issue (of gun control), these Republican lawmakers have chosen to punish, silence, and expel duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee,” Biden added in a statement.

Sarah Wilson, the owner of a licensed home bakery in Nashville, asked for help. She was planning to make kits filled with baked goods to show her support for the suffering families of the shooter in Nashville. Her post was met with enthusiasm on the internet. People had been looking for ways to help out, and she gave them the chance to do just that.

Wilson talks about where the idea came from and her understanding of people’s feelings about the event. “I know all of our hearts are hurting for Covenant,” she said.

“We all want to do something and help, and we don’t know how,” Wilson added.

“Calling all bakers, anyone who wants to put together a box, anyone who wants to fill a bag with buttercream, to fill a bag with sprinkles, I know they can feel our love through all of this and this is just one more way we can all come together,” Wilson continues.

Wilson is closely connected to the Covenant School community, and her desire to utilize her sweet tooth for good is very meaningful. She has even supplied gluten-free cookies to accommodate more of the families.

She shared her hope for the cookies. “I believe there is so much healing in creating things that are beautiful and gathering around a table with food,” Wilson said.

“I hope these cookie kits do just that. These kids can find a little normal, a little joy, a little hope for their future knowing that they have a community that sees them, loves them, and will show up for them in unexpected ways to walk beside them in their pain,” she added.

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