Nashville School Shooting: Gun Violence in America


A crying child leaving the Covenant School on a bus after the shooting. By: Reuters

Annie Vogelmann, Managing Editor

“Our children deserve a life free from worry of being gunned down while learning their ABC’s,” said Kris Brown—the president of one of America’s oldest gun control groups, United Against Gun Violence— after the school shooting in Nashville on March 27th, 2023. 

At a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, called the Covenant School, 6 people— including 3 children— were shot. The child victims were Hallie Scruggs,  Evelyn Dieckhaus,  William Kinney, all of whom were only nine years old. The adult victims were Mike Hill, the school custodian; Katherine Koonce, the head of the school; and Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher. 

According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, there have been 91 school shootings incidents this year, and it is only March. The fatalities from guns continue to rise in the country. There is a record number of school shootings between 2021 and today, for a total of around 644 incidents. 

On Monday, March 27th, at 10:13 a.m., the police received a report of a shooting at the Covenant School. The assailant, Audrey E. Hale, 28, had purchased 7 assault weapons days before the incident, and they used 3 in the shooting. Hale identified as transgender man, as of 2017, and was diagnosed with an “emotional disorder.” 

Nashville Police Chief John Drake stated that the assailant was “prepared for a confrontation with law enforcement” and “prepared to do more harm.” The motive for the shooting still remains unknown, but investigators were informed that the assailant had attended the Covenant School himself. 

The assailant entered the building by shooting through a side door’s glass. By the time the police arrived, shots were heard on the second floor, where they rushed around the building to find the aggressor. Body cam footage shows the policemen rushing past kids’ lockers and classrooms. Once the police found the assailant, they shot him and the gunshots stopped. Teachers and children hiding in classrooms were escorted out of the building, hand in hand, to reunite with parents.

Junior Bridget Patten shared her thoughts, saying, “It’s shocking how many school shootings there have been recently. We cannot start feeling like this is normal. We should look to other countries and see how they have controlled gun-violence.”

In light of all of these shootings, United Against Gun Violence’s Ms. Brown said “We do not have to live like this, nor should we ever accept this as our reality.” On March 28, the day after the shooting, protesters gathered outside Nashville’s State Capitol calling on state legislators to act on gun-control laws. 

The fight for gun-control continues on, and many are asking how many people have to die from guns for laws to be enacted.