Thousands of students in Nashville staged a walkout Monday to demand stronger gun control laws, a week after a shooter killed six people at a grade school.
A shooter opened fire at the Covenant School last week, killing three children and three adults and wounding several others. State Republicans have insisted that there is nothing they could have done or could do differently to prevent such a tragedy.
Thousands of students marched to the state Capitol building, chanting for more gun regulations. Local reporter Chris O’Brien estimated there were 2,500 to 3,000 people there. Gun control organization March for Our Lives put the number at more than twice as many.
They rallied outside the building, where they sang songs and called on lawmakers to protect them. “We all just want to live through high school,” one student said.
The students passed out a flyer with their list of demands, which include a red flag law, safe storage laws, and a ban on permitless carrying.
The protest comes just days after thousands of people, including students, rallied at the state Capitol building to protest Tennessee gun regulations.
Protesters marched inside the Capitol ahead of the House and Senate regular floor sessions on Thursday, calling for gun control and for lawmakers to “protect our kids!”
Governor Bill Lee and his fellow Republicans have carefully evaded the fact that they helped create the circumstances that allowed the shooting to occur. The GOP holds a supermajority in the Tennessee legislature, as well as the governor’s office.
Two years ago, lawmakers failed to pass a red flag law that would have prevented the shooter from legally acquiring seven guns, three of which were used in the attack. In the past few years, Republicans also loosened gun restrictions, focusing instead on attacking LGBTQ rights.
This post has been updated.