“Were it not for God’s repelling people – some by means of others – many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques – wherein God’s name is mentioned much – would have been destroyed. And God will surely help those who help Him.” (Quran 22:40)
Washington, D.C. | www.mpac.org | March 29, 2023 — On Monday, the United States saw yet another tragedy in what has become a sickening norm: three children and three teachers were gunned down at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee – the 130th mass shooting this year. Christian institutions and churches have been the target of violence and terror and we stand in solidarity with the victims, their families, and the community.
The time for thoughts and prayers has passed; action must accompany this sentiment if we truly intend on making our communities safer. The shooter’s ‘emotional disorder’ highlights that when debating policy solutions, mental health cannot be ignored. The fact that, once again, an assault rifle was used in a mass shooting makes it clear that it is too easy to access these high powered weapons. We know that gun violence is a complex issue – one that requires a multifaceted solution. However, that does not mean that we can give our leaders a free pass.
This is a matter of human security – something MPAC has consistently advocated for across the policy spectrum. We must create a society that values life and safety above all and takes action to ensure that our children can attend school without fearing for their lives each day.
To the families of 9-year-old students Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, Hallie Scruggs, and Covenant custodian Mike Hill, 61, head of school, Katherine Koonce, 60, and substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, we offer our deepest condolences as you and the Nashville community grieve these senseless acts of violence.
Religious institutions — churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and their accompanying schools — remain amongst the most vulnerable targets of those seeking to commit acts of violence and hatred. To our elected officials, we call on you to put aside partisan politics and work together to prevent gun violence and protect our communities today.