Here are the responses from key Tennessee political representatives.

  • Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett (R): “It’s a horrible, horrible situation,” Burchett told reporters. “And we’re not gonna fix it. Criminals are gonna be criminals. My daddy fought in the Second World War, fought in the Pacific, fought the Japanese, and he told me … ‘Buddy, 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.”

Burchett voted against a bill expanding gun background in 2021. He was one of 62 Republicans who voted against a bill to support hate crime victims; voted against reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act; and supported efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Wow! What a profile in courage.

  • At-large Metro Council member Zulfat Suara via tweet: “I cannot imagine the pain. Praying for the families involved.”
  • Nashville Mayor John Cooper: Thanked first responders and medical professionals in a statement addressing the “tragic morning” that Nashville “… joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting. My heart goes out to the families of the victims,” Cooper said. “Our entire city stands with you.”
  • At-large Metro Council member Bob Mendes: “This is shattering,”
  • Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools Adrienne Battle: “As a parent, as an educator, as a human being, I’m grieving today over the tragic murder of children and school staff right here in our community. My heart goes out to the entire Covenant School community and the parents grieving the unimaginable loss of life today.” The district’s student support services team will work to help students and staff process this traumatic event, Battle claimed to state.
  • Tennessee state Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville: “This is an unimaginable tragedy for the victims, all the children, families, teachers, staff and my entire community. I have friends who attend both church and school there.  I have also visited the church in the past.  It tears my heart apart to see this.  I’m praying for my neighborhood, my city and my state. It is time to pull together and provide all the love and support that we can to those affected by this terrible catastrophe. It is time for serious action.”
  • Nashville Council member Sandra Sepulveda: “Please help us pass stricter gun laws in Tennessee and in the Federal Government to save us from these senseless tragedies. The politicians who would offer their ‘thoughts and prayers’ in this state and at the federal level, and do nothing are cowards. They are empty words.”
  • State Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville: “Let’s pray politicians with power to do something about school shooting will find the courage to act. Let’s pray the anger we feel is transformed into demanding better. Let’s pray the compassion we have for the families and teachers doesn’t give way to cynicism or giving up.”
  • Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee: “Thank you to the first responders working on site,” Blackburn tweeted. “Please join us in prayer for those affected.”
  • U.S. Representative Mark Green: Released a statement offering prayer for all students, faculty and staff and the loved ones of those who were killed in “this senseless loss of life.” He also thanked Vanderbilt’s medical teams and first responders.
  • U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles: “My family and I are devastated by the tragedy that took place at The Covenant School in Nashville this morning, 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. (But only 9 more months until my next Christmas card … Ok, I added this.)

Congratulations to everyone in Tennessee. These are your leaders. God help you, because your leaders will not.