Barack Obama Helps Build Support To Overcome GOP Inaction After Shooting

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Former President Barack Obama joined those sharing their frustrations and grief after another mass shooting, this time at a private school in Nashville, where three children and three adults were killed on Monday.

“We are failing our children,” the former commander-in-chief remarked online. “Guns are now the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. Michelle and I mourn with the students and families of the Covenant School today.” He included in his tweet a video of a woman named Ashbey Beasley, who spoke in Nashville on Monday at the staging area for a press conference about the incident, demanding action on gun safety. Beasley was just a bystander who walked up to the mic’ed-up spot, and she said in her remarks that she’d previously survived the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, last year during that community’s parade for July 4. Illinois has since enacted a ban on assault weapons, helped in part by the Democratic victories in that state in last year’s midterm elections.

“I have met with over 130 lawmakers,” Beasley said in Nashville to bystanders, including a group of journalists. “How is this still happening? How are our children still dying and why are we failing them? Gun violence is the number one killer of children and teens. It has overtaken cars… We can’t even pass safe storage laws in this country to protect kids from getting a hold of weapons that they shoot each other with!”

The Nashville incident adds to an only increasingly shocking list. The Gun Violence Archive has already cataloged 130 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, including the Nashville incident, a list that includes over a dozen mass murders, defined as incidents in which four or more people, excluding the perpetrator, were killed. That violence has ranged so far this year from an attack in Cocoa, Florida, in which three members of what was evidently the same family were killed to the violence in Monterey Park, California, back in January. Although Republicans might like to claim that changing the law won’t do anything, guns in these incidents, whether the mass shooting last year at an elementary school in Texas or the incident in Highland Park, have repeatedly been obtained legally. Changing laws could save lives.