SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Six people — three adults and three children — were killed in a shooting at The Covenant School Monday in Nashville. The shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was a former student of the school.
Police said today that the motive is still unknown. Hale was under the care of a doctor for an emotional disorder but was able to legally purchase seven firearms and use three of them in the shooting.
There is now a back-and-forth between lawmakers about gun reform. The shooter’s gender identity is now part of the debate as well.
Hale identified as transgender, and that’s been a hot topic in the state of Tennessee, where it’s now illegal for youth to receive gender-affirming care.
The cover of the New York Post on Tuesday read, “Transgender killer targets Christian school.” The hashtag #TransTerrorism trended on Twitter.
Some Republican politicians suggested that Hale’s identity as a trans person was the reason Hale entered The Covenant School carrying guns. Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene posted on Twitter saying, “How much hormones like testosterone and medication for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking? Everyone can stop blaming guns now.”
“I don’t think that we can blame an entire community based on the fact that this one person had some sort of psychotic break,” said Honey Mahogany, the Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party.
Tennessee recently passed two laws making it illegal for trans youth to receive gender-affirming care and banning drag queens from performing in public or any space where they could be seen by a child.
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“That’s the scary thing to see that people are willing to defy the constitution by persecuting drag queens and trans people but are not even willing to infringe upon the Second Amendment,” Mahogany said.
Mahogany helped start Drag Queen Story Hour in San Francisco, a program that allows drag performers to read to children.
“Drag Queen Story Hours really provide a space for kids to feel safe,” she said.
Bay Area-based performer Per Sia reads around 25 story hours a year. They are always moved when a young child is free to express themselves.
“Such programs is so important because not only do they get to be seen, but we get to be seen as well,” Per Sia said.
Both Mahogany and Per Sia say that laws banning drag and stopping trans health care need to stop.
They want more focus on the fact that gun violence is the number one cause of death for children in the US.
“If the goal is to protect children then what we need to be doing is addressing the gun violence and the access to guns,” she said.
According to Gun Violence Archive, more than 1,300 children under the age of 18 have been injured or killed by gun violence this year.