Nashville school shooting highlights need for strict and immediate gun reform


Manzura Avazova, 14, a student at MLK Magnet High School, holds a sign “am i NEXT?” and chants “Gun Control Now!” at the State Capitol outside the State Representatives chamber on March 30, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. Avazova chants with fellow Tennessee school students as they fill the Capitol building during the Parents and Kids Rally in response to the Covenant School shooting. Provided photo by Ray Di Pietro

Reaghan Chen, Reporter

I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw the news. There was a shooting at a school in Nashville, Tennessee on March 27.

There was a moment of relief when I read it was the Covenant School and not the inner-city elementary school my mom teaches at, but that relief instantly turned to sadness, anger and fear.

About 10 minutes from my house, six people were shot and killed at this private Christian school, including three 9-year-olds. 

Six people’s lives were cut short in what they thought to be another day at work and another day at school.

Throughout the day, my social media pages started to flood with prayers for the families, pictures of elementary students in uniforms and the victims’ names and ages, just like it had before in February after the Michigan State University shooting.

This cycle of our generation coming together on social media happens time and time again after tragedy and death, but what can stop these situations from turning into graphics people repost on their Instagram stories?

Some people point to guns and some point to mental health, while others fight to defend the Second Amendment. 

I like to point at reality. 

The likelihood that guns will be banned from America is low, but that doesn’t mean reform can’t happen.

I think when some people hear the words gun reform, they get defensive very quickly about their rights as an American citizen, yet if you look closely, gun reform does not equate to “No more guns.”

For instance, one proposed reform bill focuses on magazine capacity, specifically limiting the capacity to no more than 10 rounds

According to EveryTown, a national gun-violence prevention organization, “between 2009 and 2020 … high-capacity magazines led to 5x as many people shot per mass shooting.”

The reality is that providing access to large magazines can mean giving access to those who may choose to hurt innocent lives. 

The bill is not declaring that all gun owners cannot be trusted with large magazines, but it could save lives.

Fourteen states have already implemented this policy, but states including Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky have not. 

Along with state policies, there are also national standards that could be improved with background second amendment,  checks.

As of now, federal law does not require unlicensed sellers to run background checks on their buyers. This is a major loophole in the firearm industry that can have terrifying outcomes.

“Around 80% of all firearms acquired for criminal purposes are obtained through transfers from unlicensed sellers,” according to Giffords Law Center.

It is unsettling how people can sell firearms, legally, without any knowledge about what type of person is behind the trigger. 

Now, of course, there are a number of other policies and ideas, including the ban on assault weapons, that are circulating the political atmosphere of our country. 

I encourage you to do your own research and find the reality you point to when conversations regarding gun violence come up, and hopefully one day our reality will not become another Instagram story someone reposts.