Updated: Jun 22
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A board member of the Uvalde Foundation for Kids was one of several to participate in a panel to discuss gun violence and school safety hosted by the Metro Public Health and Safety Committee.
The discussion was held Wednesday night at Hillsboro High Schools. The series of meetings were scheduled after the shooting at The Covenant School that left six dead, including three students.
Leaders throughout the city wanted to come together to figure out solutions to ensuring safety in all schools along with pushing for stricture gun laws.
Dr. Michael Stevens, who serves on the Uvalde Foundation for Kids board, shared his experience with how communities can find alternatives for providing safety in schools, and the legislation action need to curb gun violence.
“As an adult I’ve seen the same cycle happen. We have a school shooting, people get upset about it, it goes to legislation and it dies. It does not matter what state it’s in,” said Stevens.
The country’s response to mass shootings is an ongoing cycle with no actionable solutions is what Stevens is referring to a cycle that needs to see real change before tragedy strikes again.
“Statistically, its going to happen again so what are we going to do to prevent it,” Stevens said during the panel discussion.
Stevens along with Moms Demand Action were a part of Metro’s Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, the second of three Wednesday meetings this month.
“We have to hold our politicians accountable and stop electing the same individuals over and over and over again that make empty promises and don’t actually take action on it,” said Stevens.
Ahead of the meeting, attendees had the chance to share their concerns on the boards outside of Hillsboro High School’s auditorium. Six candles were lit on stage in honor of the six adults and children who lost their lives at The Covenant School
“Part of the goal of this meeting is for healing. Is it to bring people in and start to talk about how we do turn our grief into action but also how we heal as a community?” said Jeff Syracuse, Councilmember for District 15.
Moms Demands Action, a nationwide group focusing on gun violence survivor support, legislative work and safe gun storage education, talked about the importance of getting the legislature to back stricter gun safety laws.
“The first would be an extreme risk protection law, an E.R.P.O law. We know that many people who commit mass shootings and many people who take their own lives with guns often send up red flags,” said Linda McFadyen with Moms Demand Action.
Stevens said after participating and voting for the right people to create change, the next step is to show up, especially ahead of Tennessee’s proposed special legislative session.