The Tennessee chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after a shooting last night at Middle Tennessee State University left one person dead and another person wounded. According to reports, gunfire broke out as people were leaving the Riverdale High School graduation being hosted on campus. It is not yet clear if those involved in the shooting were affiliated with either the university or the high school.
“It’s devastating that every aspect of our lives can be upended by gun violence,” said Zack Maaieh, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Students Demand Action. “This should’ve been a celebratory night to commemorate the hard work and achievements of these students. But, instead, an act of gun violence stole the show and turned it into a tragedy. This shooting is yet another painful reminder of the consequences of inaction on gun safety.”
Despite the fact that Tennessee has weak gun laws and suffers one of the worst gun violence rates in the United States, lawmakers have continuously worked to further dismantle the state’s existing protections in recent years. This year, the legislature attempted to advance an entire suite of dangerous gun bills in service of the gun lobby’s ‘guns everywhere’ agenda. Thanks to the work of gun safety advocates, these attempts failed. To address Tennessee’s ongoing gun violence crisis, state and local leaders must prioritize public safety and advance a common sense gun safety agenda that would reduce gun deaths and save lives.