Thoughts and Prayers: Politics in the wake of The Covenant School shooting

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure how to start this post since there’s so much ground to cover. I guess we should start at the beginning.

This past March, 28-year-old Aubrey Hale shot and killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville. Tennessee. Three of their victims were 9-year-old children. You can read my take on the shootings in my previous post.

This shooting caused an uproar in right-wing circles, not because six people were killed for nothing, but because the shooter identified as being trans. This gave right-wing pundits and politicians an out, so to speak, so they could deflect the conversation away from guns.

I’m not here to defend the shooter, but as usual, the right is barking up the wrong tree when it comes to this shooting. From what I’ve found, the trans community makes up less than 2% of the American population. Trans people overwhelmingly are more often the targets of violence rather than the instigators. But the right doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a scapegoat.

Let’s get right into the mud, shall we?

LGBTQ+ Issues

Before we even get into the Nashville shooting, let me take you back to 2022, right after the shooting in Uvalde happened. US Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) claimed the Uvalde shooter was a trans woman. He tweeted the following…

As you can see, Gosar deleted the tweet. He had fallen victim to a 4chan hoax, which shows he probably took no time into investigating that claim. Why bother when the hoax fits his narrative so nicely? It might be worth mentioning that Gosar was given a 92% rating by the NRA.

Many on the right also claimed that the Highland Park, Illinois, mass shooter was trans because security cameras caught him wearing a dress. Nevermind the fact the dress was used so the shooter could blend into the crowd and make his escape.

The Club Q shooter from Colorado Springs claimed to be nonbinary, and right-wing media ran with that story. Neighbors and family said there was no evidence that the shooter ever claimed to be nonbinary and was actually homophobic.

I’m sure there are more misinformed accusations like this, but these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. As the meme goes, if I had a nickel for every time the right accused a shooter of being trans, I’d have three nickels, which isn’t much, but it’s weird it happened three times.

But let’s get back to this shooting.

Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) compared the trans community to white supremacists…

“If you tell transgender people that they’re being genocided, it is expected that some people will take violent means as a response,” Vance said. “We recognize that when we’re talking about white supremacists or any other ideological group. There’s a broad recognition in this country that when you tell people that they’re being violently destroyed, that sometimes people take violent measures in response.”

Vance also made one of the most astounding leaps in mental gymnastics I have ever seen.

“I think that we should all tone down the rhetoric a little bit, and stop telling trans people they’re being genocided because parents don’t want pornographic materials in school libraries,” Vance said.

So, it appears that Senator Vance believes that the trans community is plotting violence because Republican Karens want certain books banned from schools and libraries. I think on the list of demands from the trans community, book banning is low on the priority list. I’d imagine they would want things like equal rights and legal access to healthcare first, but maybe that’s just me.

And before I forget, in his run for election, Vance was fully endorsed by the NRA.

Then there is the one woman Georgia dumpster fire that is Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. As we all know, Greene is known for her rational and well-thought-out responses to tragedies. Just kidding, she’s as dumb as a bag of hammers.

Here’s what Greene tweeted out in the wake of the shooting.

“How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking?” Greene wrote on Twitter. “Everyone can stop blaming guns now.”

First of all, I’m pretty sure that’s not grammatically correct. Secondly, not only is she taking a shot at trans people, but people who take medications for mental health issues as well. Isn’t the right always saying that mass shootings are a mental health issue and not a gun issue? Yet, they continue to belittle mental health care and deny its access to those who need it most. Lastly, from what I understand, not everyone in transition undergoes hormone replacement therapy (HRT). I swear, if you look up the word ignorant in the dictionary it doesn’t have a picture of her face because Webster’s can’t even believe how ignorant she is.

Not surprisingly, the NRA has also endorsed Greene.

Have you ever heard of Vivek Ramaswamy? I had to look up who he was. Apparently, he’s running for the Republican nomination for President. Well, he’s definitely pandering to the MAGA crowd with his statement on the shooting.

And Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2024 GOP presidential candidate who’s made combatting “wokeism” the centerpiece of his campaign, issued a statement on the shooting declaring that identifying as transgender “more often than not” is a “sign and a symptom that they are suffering from a mental illness.”

This reminds me of when homosexuality was considered a mental disorder. Nothing like a little medical discrimination to deny basic human rights.

Also, Ramaswamy is so pro-gun that one of his policies is that he wants to do away with the ATF.

Recently unemployed Fox News host Tucker Carlson (karma’s a bitch) may have had the most unhinged take of all.

“Transgenderists hate Christians above all, because Christians refused to join every other liar in our society and proclaim that transgenderists are Gods with the power to change nature itself,” Carlson told viewers.

“For that refusal,” Carlson continued, “that unwillingness to bow down and worship a false idol, in this case of transgenderism, they were murdered.”

What the actual fuck? Carlson accusing anyone of worshiping false idols is hilarious, since he continually used to sniff the adult diapers of the tangerine-tinged sex pest of a former President.

Speaking of the sex pest, Donnie Jr. has piped in.

Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, suggested the FBI and Justice Department monitor “violent factions within the trans community.”

You could probably assign one federal agent to monitor the ‘violent factions within the trans community’. Meanwhile, right-wing and white supremacist violence continues unabated.

Gun Control

So now, let’s switch from trans rights to gun rights, as guns have more rights in our country than most people.

Andy Ogles is a Republican US Representative from Tennessee, whose district includes Nashville. He was the first one out of the gate to literally offer thoughts and prayers.

“My family and I are devastated by the tragedy that took place at The Covenant School in Nashville this morning,” Ogles’ statement said. “We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost. As a father of three, I am utterly heartbroken by this senseless act of violence. I am closely monitoring the situation and working with local officials.”

If you want to know what kind of man Andy Ogles is, you only have to go as far as his 2021 family Christmas photo.

Because nothing celebrates the birth of Christ quite like some AR-15s in the hands of teenagers.

Holy crap. I just looked up Ogles on Wikipedia for his NRA connections, and it turns out he’s crazier than a shithouse rat.

In June 2022, after the repeal of Roe v. Wade, Ogles said, “The next thing we have to do is go after gay marriage.”

Ogles denies the legitimacy of the 2020 United States presidential election.

Now, let’s hear from Republican Colorado Representative Lauren ‘I married a bowling alley sex pest’ Boebert. She tweeted the following.

If you’re not familiar with NRA Barbie, her whole personality is nothing but guns. Before being elected to Congress, she ran a 2nd Amendment themed restaurant where waitresses open carried.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn is used to giving out thoughts and prayers, as he did after Uvalde. But now, it seems like he’s just throwing his hands up when it comes to gun violence.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), one of the key Republicans to negotiate a bipartisan gun safety package passed last summer, on Monday addressed calls for additional gun legislation in the wake of a school shooting in Tennessee, saying Congress has “gone about as far as we can go” on measures like background checks.

“I would say we’ve gone about as far as we can go — unless somebody identifies some area that we didn’t address,” Cornyn told reporters when asked about further legislation and background checks specifically.

Some areas you didn’t address, huh? How about most of them? I mean, the gun show loophole still exists. Why not address that?

Cornyn has an A+ rating from the NRA.

Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, whose name sounds like it belongs to a Star Wars villain, parroted another right-wing talking point, saying it was ‘too soon’ to discuss any gun control legislation.

“Our thoughts are with the families, the victims with the community. We are grateful for the quick rapid response of law enforcement, and I think with respect to any discussion of legislation, it’s premature. There’s an ongoing investigation. And I think we need to let the facts come out,” he said.

It’s always premature for assclowns like Thune. They continually dismiss any kind of gun reform after a mass shooting, then repeat the same old line until the next inevitable shooting.

For example, Thune said almost the exact same thing after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 60 people and sent 867 people to the hospital.

“It sounds like [the shooter] used conversion kits and other things, you know, to make the weapons more lethal,” he said. “We’ll look at the facts when we get them all in here. I think a lot of us want to do everything we can to prevent tragedies like that from happening again. You know, it’s an open society. And when somebody does what he wants to do it’s going to be hard to prevent anything. But I think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions. To protect themselves. And in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said, get small.”

This is another right-wing talking point. They claim that if someone is determined enough, they’re going to find a way to kill a bunch of people, gun or no gun. With what exactly? A car? A baseball bat? These are the things that ammosexuals love to trot out to show other examples of things that are sold legally that still kill people. First of all, killing is not the primary purpose of those things. Secondly, come get me when 60 people are killed in a mass batting.

Senator Thune also voted against banning high-capacity magazines that carry more than 10 bullets. You know, because they need to protect the rights of Cletus, who needs a 30-round clip to hunt deer. Yeah, I said clip. What are you going to do about it?

US Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) had this as his initial response to the shooting.

“It’s a horrible, horrible situation, and we’re not going to fix it. Criminals are gonna be criminals. And my daddy fought in the second world war, fought in the Pacific, fought the Japanese, and he told me, he said, ‘Buddy,’ he said, ‘if somebody wants to take you out, and doesn’t mind losing their life, there’s not a whole heck of a lot you can do about it.”

Actually, there is something they can do about it, but Burchett and his party refuse to do anything about it.

Rather than walking back his remarks, Burchett doubled down and brought religion into the debate.

“If you want to legislate evil, it’s just not going to happen,” Burchett said. “We need a real revival in this country. Let’s call on our Christian ministers and our people of faith.”

He added: “If you think Washington is going to fix this problem, you’re wrong. They’re not going to fix this problem. They are the problem.” 

So, we’re just going to ignore that whole separation of church and state?

To show just how out of touch Burchett is, He said this…

When asked if there were other steps lawmakers could take to protect children like his daughter, Burchett replied, “Well, we homeschool her.”

That’s all well and good for someone who can pay for a private tutor, but most parents either can’t afford it, or are highly unqualified to do so. Burchett is kind of like a modern-day Marie Antoinette. Instead of letting the peasants eat cake, he’d probably say, “Let them get shot.”

And he keeps digging down…

When Burchett was asked whether it concerned him that other countries don’t have America’s levels of gun violence, he said, “Other countries don’t have our freedom either. It’s the United States of America.”

There’s a popular saying that goes, “Freedom is not a right, it’s a responsibility”. Current Republicans are not being very responsible. Can you call it freedom when children are too scared to go to school out of the fear of being shot? There’s another saying that goes, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The only ones bleeding are school children, and the only liberty is the one where gun nerds feel like they have the liberty to commit mass murder. And the only tyrants are the politicians who turn a blind eye to the bloodshed.

You remember Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, don’t you? Not only was he one of the biggest election deniers, but he also ran like a scalded cat from the January 6th rioters after supporting them outside of Congress.

Here’s what the little chicken had to say…

On Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., took that to mean the attack was “targeted, that is, against Christians” and began calling for federal agencies to investigate the shooting as a hate crime.

Hawley also introduced a Senate resolution to formally condemn the shooting as a hate crime.

Yeah, because Christians are the most persecuted minority ever. I can think of more than a few groups of people who got you beat in that department. Get off the cross, Josh. We need the wood.

If anybody should be arrested for a hate crime, it’s Hawley for the hate crime he committed against the Constitution.

Finally, we get to Tennessee’s Republican Governor, Bill Lee. Some of the highlights of Lee’s administration included declaring a Nathan Bedford Forest Day. For those not up on their US history, Forest was not only a Confederate General but the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. Lee initially denied that President Biden won the 2020 election until the January 6th riots. Shortly afterward, Lee admitted that Biden had won the election. Not only did Lee pass two laws that would ban trans people from their chosen restrooms and locker rooms, he infamously made drag shows a potential felony in Tennessee.

As far as guns go, Lee passed a law that allows adults to either open or concealed carry without needing any kind of background check or training.

The Covenant School shooting hit a little too close to home for Governor Lee. Lee’s wife was friends with 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, who lost her life in the shooting. Even after such a loss, Lee said it was ‘too soon’ to be discussing legislation.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has called for prayers in the wake of Monday’s deadly mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school, while noting that “there will be a time to talk about the legislation.”

“I am calling on the people of Tennessee to pray. For the families of victims, for the Covenant family, for those courageous officers, for the family of the shooter, for those who are hurting and angry and confused,” Lee, a Republican, said in a video address on Tuesday evening. “Prayer is the first thing we should do, but it’s not the only thing.”

Lee’s wife might have given him an earful because Governor Lee actually called for gun legislation in wake of the shooting. He suggested a type of red flag law but refused it to call it that. Plus, like most gun control legislation, the legislation he proposed is full of loopholes. For example, Tennessee already has a law where domestic abusers get their guns taken away. Except, they’re not taken by police. Instead, the suspect can surrender them to a third party who doesn’t have to be identified. I’ve never seen a more perfect definition of toothless legislation.

Good Guys With Guns

We keep hearing from the gun nerds that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. They say it like it’s an absolute certainty in any situation with a mass shooter. They don’t even consider the fact how a shootout between armed civilians could affect the situation. There are any number of ways where that situation goes south and innocents are harmed.

There were two armed staff members employed by The Covenant School.

At 10:12:05 a.m. Monday, a woman calling from the office of the nursery said, “We do have a school person, or two … I’m not sure … who would be packing, whose job it is for security. We don’t have security guards, but we have staff.”

She did not name who typically carried weapons, and it is not clear whether those staff members were at the school at the time of the shooting.

Even if those staff members were at the school during the shooting, are they cowards for not engaging with the shooter? Not at all. In reality, while some think they would be heroes by storming the school with their tactically tricked out AR-15, the reality is that everyone wants to make it back to their family in these kinds of incidents. Also, I would hope their priority was protecting the students rather than going into a classroom guns blazing.

While I may sound like a broken record (kids, ask your grandparents), I tend to quote Mike Tyson when the gun good guys start shooting off their mouths. (Pun intended.) “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

The Manifesto

A bunch of right-wing groups and politicians are suing to have the so-called shooter’s manifesto released. My guess is, they’re looking for something in it that they can use to further marginalize members of the trans community.

They might be careful what they wish for. If you read my previous post, you’ll know that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said there was nothing political in the shooter’s writings.

…the killer did not write about specific political, religious or social issues. In fact, a primary focus in the journals is on idolizing those who committed prior school shootings.

So, whatever the right is looking for may come back to bite them in the ass.

I’m always in favor of releasing whatever writings and plans these shooters might have. I believe that when these things are released, it helps us better understand what to look out for to prevent future shootings.

Opponents of releasing records like this say that it will inspire copycat shootings. School shooters need little inspiration, as most of them have been nothing but Columbine copycats for the past 24 years. That genie is already out of the bottle, and it’s packed up its bags and left the country to be somewhere safer.


I hate to say it, but in our current political climate, ain’t nothing gonna change. As long as people keep voting in right-wing bigots and 2nd Amendment zealots, LGBTQ people are still going to be marginalized, and school children are going to die while the right continues to bury their heads in the sand.

It will be generations, and I’ll be long dead before any real change is made.


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