The recent school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee has once again brought attention to the issue of gun control in the United States. The perpetrator, Audrey Hale, had legally purchased seven pistols despite being under medical treatment for an “emotional disorder”. The fact that someone with an emotional disorder could legally buy weapons raises questions about the need for stricter background checks and controls on gun ownership.
According to the Chief of the Metropolitan Police of Nashville, John Drake, Hale had hidden the weapons in his home before using three of them to commit the attack on the school. Drake revealed that Hale was “under the care of a physician” for an “emotional disturbance.” Hale’s parents, who were questioned by the police, thought that their child “shouldn’t have guns”, but they had mistakenly believed that he had already sold one of them and “didn’t own any more.”
Despite the fact that no one had reported Hale’s possession of firearms, Drake acknowledged that if the police had known that he was suicidal or was planning to commit violence, they would have tried to intervene before it was too late. While the police successfully neutralized Hale, the six casualties that resulted from the attack highlight the need for greater efforts to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place.
The Nashville Police have released video footage showing the moment that officers shot Hale, which has sparked further debate about the use of lethal force by the police. The video was captured through the body camera of one of the agents and shows the police action for six minutes from the arrival of the troops at the scene until they finally killed Hale.
This recent incident is part of a worrying trend of gun violence in the United States, particularly in schools. Everytown for Gun Safety reports that there have been at least 30 incidents with firearms in schools so far this year, resulting in the deaths of eight people and injuries to 23 others. Unless action is taken to address the issue of gun control in the country, such tragedies are likely to continue to occur.