After Nashville, Let’s Admit Drag and Books Have been By no means the Actual Menace to Children

Within the title of defending kids, Tennessee Gov. Invoice Lee has signed payments outlawing drag reveals, banning “inappropriate” books, outlawing gender-affirming look after minors, and limiting college loos to the gender a scholar is assigned at beginning.

However for all his discuss shielding youngsters, Lee has achieved nothing about weapons—although they’re the main reason for demise for kids, each in his state and nationwide.

The most recent fatalities in Tennessee embody three nine-year-old college students and three employees members on the Covenant Faculty in Nashville. The killer wasn’t a drag queen, however a 28-year-old lady named Audrey Hale armed with two assault rifles and a handgun.

After final 12 months’s mass college capturing in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 college students and two academics useless, a gaggle of gun management advocates and clergy arrayed stuffed animals, backpacks and flowers exterior Lee’s workplace. They referred to as for a ban on assault weapons and a repeal of the permitless carry invoice that he signed in 2021.

“I’ve handled many victims of gun violence. I’ve seen firsthand how bullets tear holes by our bodies, severing arteries, punching holes by lungs and hearts, and shattering bones,” Dr. Katrina Inexperienced, an emergency room physician, informed the gathering.

Later that month, Lee issued Govt Order 97 as his personal response to the Uvalde horror. Essentially the most notable provision was a name to maintain college entrances locked. He additionally launched a “Faculty Security Toolkit for Tennessee Households.”

“As we proceed our work to guard Tennessee kids, the brand new Faculty Security Toolkit will present mother and father with useful sources and higher transparency to really feel assured their youngster is secure at college,” Lee stated.

The toolkit provided recommendation about countering bullying and in any other case enhancing the varsity setting. It additionally offered “college security within the palm of your hand” by Protected TN, an app described as “a safe, open door communications platform the place you possibly can ship in ideas and entry helpful sources to assist hold your college and group secure.”

However weapons weren’t even a consideration.

“We’re not taking a look at gun restriction legal guidelines in my administration proper now,” Lee stated.

Within the meantime, simply the chance that Massachsetts may ban the manufacture of assault weapons had satisfied the Smith & Wesson Firm to maneuver its longtime homebase from there to Tennessee.

“Our pro-business fame, expert workforce, and dedication to the Second Modification make Tennessee an excellent location for firearms manufacturing,” Lee stated when the transfer was introduced in 2021.

A sign that the corporate had chosen the appropriate dwelling got here with the Chrisitmas card despatched out final 12 months by U.S. Rep. Andy Ogeles, whose district encompasses The Covenant Faculty. The cardboard reveals notorious resume embellisher Ogles, his spouse, and two of their kids brandishing assault rifles as they stand smiling earlier than a Christmas tree.

Building of the brand new Smith & Wesson facility in Maryville has commenced, and is anticipated to be accomplished late this 12 months. Tennessee will then be producing assault weapons, not simply recovering them from crime scenes comparable to Monday’s mass capturing.

The college entrance had been locked, however the killer merely shot it open. She continued firing as she ascended from the primary to the second flooring. She was herself killed by two law enforcement officials—good guys with weapons—who arrived rapidly on the scene. However that was not earlier than six innocents have been killed.

And if anyone was utilizing the Protected TN app, it made no extra distinction than the remainder of the chief order that Lee issued to make it seem like he was doing one thing—when he was doing nothing in any respect concerning the largest risk to youngsters.