According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearms were the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in 2021, surpassing motor vehicle crashes for the second year in a row. In 2021, at least 4,733 children and adolescents ages 1 to 19 died from firearms, representing a 9% increase from the previous year. The shooter responsible for the recent mass school shooting in Nashville purchased seven guns legally and locally, three of which were used in the attack. The shooter had been under care for an "emotional disorder", and his parents believed he had sold one weapon and did not own any more. However, the shooter had been hiding several weapons within the house. Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the shooting but believe the school itself was targeted. Despite this tragedy, top House and Senate Republicans have rejected calls for additional action on guns, arguing there is no appetite for tougher restrictions. President Joe Biden has suggested that any future action on gun violence will fall to Congress, as he has exhausted all executive actions. Biden has also called on Congress to pass an assault weapon ban, as the majority of Americans think having assault weapons is a "crazy idea." Despite Republican opposition, Democratic lawmakers are pushing for gun legislation, with Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal insisting that he is not giving up and will continue to seek support from his Republican colleagues. Meanwhile, Senate Chaplain Barry Black has called for lawmakers to take action on gun violence "beyond thoughts and prayers" after the recent shooting.
Nashville school shooting suspect killed after killing 6