Enough? No, it’s never enough in our bloody land. The slaughter will continue. This time it’s Nashville. Who’s next? — The South Dakota Standard



When will we stop allowing crazy, armed people to slaughter our children? The answer seems to be, never.

The latest horror — this week’s mass shooting — occurred on Monday. A troubled 28-year-old (seen above in a still from a widely circulated video) armed with two AR-15-type weapons and a handgun shot out the doors at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian private school in a wealthy, comfortable neighborhood in Nashville, and murdered six people before police ended the shooter’s life.

This time, their names were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all just 9 years old. Killed with them were Cynthia Peak and Mike Hall, both 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60.

Their lives ended in the most violent way possible, as have the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people in recent years. Mass shootings occur more often than almost any other event.

Monday was the 86th day of the year, and the killings in Nashville were the 130th mass shooting so far in 2023. Many, many more will follow.

You can find a lot of sad statistics about mass shootings in this country, and each number is more horrible than the last. It’s unclear which is the most reliable, but it’s safe to say that students aren’t safe, nor are their teachers or the staff at their schools.

Neither are people at work, at home, walking down the street, riding in a car or attending church. The sound of gunfire and cries of agony and heartbreak have sounded in all those places.

And we have learned to shake our heads, whisper a prayer and move on. Because there is no sign it will end anytime soon.


But it’s not, and won’t be.

President Joe Biden called for Congress to act, but analysts quickly dismissed the odds of that occurring.

“I want to commend the police who reply and respond, credibly swiftly within minutes … We’re monitoring the situation really closely … and we have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart … and we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons,” Biden said.

“So I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we began to make some more progress,” he said.

That silence that followed was from Republicans who have refused to consider supporting sane, logical gun control laws. They rake in millions in donations from the NRA, Gun Owners of America and other gun organizations, and rely on the votes of the angry, the frightened and the cruel, people who value murder weapons like AR-15s over the lives of children.

These assault weapons, designed for war but for some insane reason available to the general public, fire multiple rounds of powerful ammunition at an extremely high velocity. These bullets cause horrific damage, with organs destroyed and a huge volume of blood loss. It’s virtually impossible to survive such a wound.

But as I noted on this page just last month, Republicans seem to relish the killings.

“The most recent example was when three of the leading deplorables in Congress, Rep. George Santos (R-NY), Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), and Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), wore assault rifle pins while serving. The images of these three embracing weapons of mass murder — that’s the only real use for such weapons — quickly spread across the internet.

“Duke University Professor of Global Health and Public Policy Gavin Yame was justifiably outraged.

“Absolutely repulsive,” Yamey said on Twitter. “We have mass shootings almost daily, and the Republicans are wearing assault weapon pins FFS.”


Instead, gun and ammo sales will continue to skyrocket.

There will be debate over the shooter in this latest outrage. Audrey E. Hale was a female for most of her life, but has begun to identify as a man, at times using the first name Adrian. In a chilling video released by Nashville police, Hale shoots out glass panels in the school’s doors to obtain entry.

The video then shows Hale, heavily armed and looking to be on a mission, roaming through rooms and hallways, looking for victims. While most decent people will loathe her actions and wonder what changed this shy, quiet artist into a ruthless and remorseless killer, there are some who will focus on the fact the killer was apparently transgender.

Since the vast majority of shooters are male, perhaps Hale determined she needed to be a he to commit such an inhumane act.

We can mourn for these latest six victims, and there will be news reports for the next few days. Then this will slip into the past, along with Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and many, many more. We have grown weary of this, like an annoying dog that barks in the night, so we choose to accept it or ignore it.


No, not nearly enough. Not for America, where we have more guns than people, and the disparity continues to grow.

There is much more horror to come. It’s never enough in this blood-soaked land.

Tom Lawrence has written for several newspapers and websites in South Dakota and other states and contributed to The New York Times, NPR, The London Telegraph, The Daily Beast and other media outlets.

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