The elementary school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, is a tragedy no community should ever have to endure. As fathers, our hearts break for those innocent children and their parents, as well as the brave and selfless teachers. The heroic police officers, who sprang into action with total disregard for their own safety, saved countless lives. The shooter, whose name should not be made famous by the media, reminds us there is evil in this world, that every moment with our families is precious, and that something in our country must change.
Unfortunately, the radical left has once again rushed to demand new laws and policy changes that would have done nothing to stop this tragedy — or any tragedy.
The renewed call to expand background checks to cover even private gun sales between friends and family members ignores the fact that most mass shooters who bought guns legally — including radical Islamic terrorists — passed background checks anyway. And no law will stop criminals from getting guns illegally by stealing them or acquiring them on the black market, because they’re criminals.
The Nashville tragedy has also reignited calls to implement so-called “red-flag laws” in which American citizens can have their firearms confiscated without due process, even as a result of baseless accusations or innuendo. Research shows such laws have no effect on violent crime, and it’s possible they could actually increase suicide rates by making troubled individuals fear discussing their issues with friends or family members because their ability to defend themselves and their loved ones could be taken away.
All 50 states already have laws on the books — often referred to as “Baker Act” statutes — regulating how to handle individuals who could be a danger to themselves or others and allowing medical professionals to intervene when necessary. In the case of the Nashville shooter — a transgender-identifying 28-year-old reportedly receiving treatment for mental illness — if police had been made aware that the shooter was hiding guns, they said they would have seized them.
As with so many similar tragedies, the cowardly Covenant School shooter chose a soft target, shooting through the school’s locked doors and counting on it taking time for armed law enforcement to respond. In fact, police said the shooter had mentioned another potential target, “but because of threat assessment by the suspect, too much security, they decided not to” attack it.
If you think criminals don’t consider this when planning an attack, then you haven’t read last year’s Buffalo, New York shooter’s manifesto in which he wrote that areas where concealed carrying of a weapon is “outlawed or prohibited may be good areas of attack” and that “areas with strict gun laws are also great places of attack.”
Thus in the realm of policy solutions, hardening soft targets has the best track record of success. Many states allow teachers to carry concealed weapons at schools to offer protection to their students and a deterrent to would-be attackers. As crime prevention scholar and frequent Federalist contributor John R. Lott recently pointed out, “Since the year 2000, there has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, between 6:00 AM and midnight at a school that lets teachers carry guns.” There are many other safety measures that could be implemented with sufficient training and funding, but instead, the Biden administration is prioritizing sending billions of dollars to fund a war on the other side of the planet.
The difficult truth is, stopping these shootings is not just a matter of policy — again, taking guns away from law-abiding Americans will never do anything to stop criminals, who by definition don’t care about the law — it’s a matter of the heart.
We are all outraged, and we should never grow numb to the evil in this world. Events like this should never be allowed to become a normal part of our lives that we just endure. But yelling that politicians should “do something” will not, in fact, do anything. We must return to a culture that values life, prioritizes family and community, celebrates and encourages fatherhood, and puts our faith in God above everything else.
There is no quick, easy solution, and any politician claiming to offer one is a liar because there is no legislation to reverse the erosion of American culture that has brought us to this point.
A new Wall Street Journal survey shows a stunning abandonment of the values that once defined the United States and made our country great. Between 1998 and 2023, the percentage of Americans identifying religion as “very important” to them dropped from 62 percent to 39 percent, and patriotism plummeted from 70 percent to 38 percent. Value on community involvement has dropped by half since just a few years ago. Depression and anxiety have skyrocketed. And the widespread push to impose radical transgender ideology on our society has caused a spike in Americans — including our innocent children — questioning the very fabric of their humanity and whether there is beauty in being made in the image of God.
Until we reverse these trends and fix America’s corroding values and culture, we will remain a broken society that produces broken people.