Most readers are probably aware by now, but there was yet another school shooting yesterday. This one was at a small Christian school in Nashville, TN, and left six people—three adults and three students—dead.
We don't often write up these shootings anymore, because they are so common there's very little to say. This was the 132nd mass shooting in the United States this year, for an average of about 1½ per day. The Nashville shooting only spent a few hours as "the most recent" mass shooting; there's already been another, this one in Maryland.
The shooter in Nashville was 28 years old, and had apparently been a student at the school at some point in the past. He was killed at the scene, and in his possession were two assault rifles and a detailed map of the school, including routes of egress. The shooter's life ended at 10:27 a.m., and within less than 2 hours, his (dead?) name found its way into news reports, as did the fact that he identified as trans.
So, that's 12:30 p.m. ET, give or take a couple of minutes, that the shooter's trans identity was made public. Who was the first Republican to seize on that fact to score political points? And how long did it take? Shouldn't be too hard to guess. The correct answers are: 1 hour, 23 minutes and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). She tweeted: "The female Nashville shooter identifies as a man. So shouldn't we just blame white men again?"
Quite a few right-wing outlets seized upon the trans angle, starting with that font of anti-trans sentiment, The Daily Wire. Other right-wing politicians and media figures went in a different direction, observing that if only there had been armed security on campus, this could have been avoided. For example, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted: "The Covenant School shooting was horrific. For everyone who says 'thoughts & prayers aren't enough,' I AGREE. Ask why EVERY SINGLE SENATE DEM voted against my bill doubling police officers in school. One armed officer could have stopped this lunatic, BEFORE a child was killed." Of course, that didn't work out in Uvalde. Cruz is also willfully misrepresenting what people mean when they say "thoughts and prayers aren't enough."
Joe Biden, for his part, called on Congress to take action and to take up the assault weapons ban he has proposed. Actually, before that, he engaged in some light banter about chocolate chip ice cream:
This was done because the audience for his remarks included several children, and he was trying to ease into the heavy stuff. Perhaps this was OK, perhaps it was not; you can watch the linked clip and decide for yourself. But it's certainly engendered much clutching of pearls among those on the right.
Naturally, Biden doesn't have any more power than Barack Obama did to compel Congress to pass gun control legislation. And the votes for such legislation just aren't there. Not only would the Republicans stand unified against Biden's bill (so, no passage by the House, filibuster in the Senate), but some Democrats would, too. Meanwhile, there is no way that Democrats go for Republican plans that involve, in one way or another, getting more guns into schools (armed teachers, armed security guards, etc.). So, the status quo will hold yet again. (Z)