TN Shooting Revives Armed Security Questions

School Security
Nashville Chief of Police John Drake stands next to a memorial at the school entrance after a deadly shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. March 28, 2023 | Image by Austin Anthony/REUTERS

Debates over security in American schools have returned to the fore after a school shooting in Nashville on Monday that took the lives of seven people.

Three children and three adults were slain before the shooter was killed by police officers, according to updates from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The incident occurred at The Covenant School, a private Christian school at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Police identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old biological female from Nashville who reportedly identified as male. Hale was armed with two rifles and a handgun.

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesperson reportedly said three children were taken to the hospital having suffered gunshot wounds. All three were pronounced dead after arrival.

Police said the shooter entered the school through a side door on the first floor. Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Hale was a former student of The Covenant School, per NBC 5 DFW.

Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron said, per the Tennessee Lookout, that the private school had neither security cameras nor an onsite resource officer despite the security precautions taken by other schools as school shootings have been publicized around the country.

In the media scrum yesterday afternoon, the police chief answered a question about whether other schools were targeted, noting that “there was another location that was mentioned [by the shooter] but because of a threat assessment by the suspect that … too much security they decided not to.”

In the wake of this and other school shootings, many are questioning why schools and political leaders refuse to increase the presence of armed security in schools to protect students.

“Biden and the Democrats send $ 100’s of billions of dollars and send guns to Ukraine to defend them from bad guys with guns,” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday. “Why won’t Biden and the Democrats spend money and support legislation to defend our own innocent American school children with good guys with guns?”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said after the Uvalde massacre, “We know from past experiences that the most effective tool for keeping kids safe is armed law enforcement on the campus.”

“Inevitably when there’s a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it. You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” claimed Cruz. “That doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suggested allowing teachers to carry firearms for additional security following the Uvalde tragedy.

“We can’t stop bad people from doing bad things,” Paxton told Fox News. “We can potentially arm and prepare and train teachers and other administrators to respond quickly. … That, in my opinion, is the best answer.”

Declared Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy questioned why the U.S. seems to protect everything but schools.

“We protect green pieces of paper in a bank with more armed guards than we do our kids in schools. We pay for Thousands Standing Around (TSA) in our airports. There’s more security at a random mall than in a public school,” Ramaswamy pointed out.

However, others maintain that spending on armed security is not an appropriate way to prevent school shootings.

“These security measures are not effective,” argued Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, professor of public health at New Mexico State University. “And they are not catching up to the ease of access with which people are acquiring guns in the pandemic.”

Dr. Khubchandani published a study in 2019 indicating that increased security measures in schools had not led to a decrease in gun violence in schools. The study claimed that blocking potential shooters from access to a firearm in the first place is a more effective strategy.

Another study from 2021 concluded that armed officers in schools “do effectively reduce some forms of violence in schools but do not prevent school shootings or gun-related incidents.”

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined there is “no association between having an armed officer and deterrence of violence,” adding that “armed guards were not associated with significant reduction in rates of injuries” during school shootings.

In Texas, a mandatory “random intruder detection audit” conducted by the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) found that 5% of the 2,864 schools audited were vulnerable to unauthorized access.

As reported by The Dallas Express, a local charter school in DeSoto has partnered with a Texas-based technology company to implement a new school security technology that uses artificial intelligence to detect firearms.

Last week, a shooting occurred at a Dallas ISD campus in which a student was shot in the arm in the parking lot mere minutes after classes were dismissed.

This incident occurred the day after two students were shot, with one killed, at a high school in Arlington.

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  1. Djea3

    Simple solution: Require ALL teachers and school employees to be armed. Make it LAW.
    Create fine for NOT being armed. The fine should be ten cents a day and self imposed. The ten cents should go to the employees coffee fund.
    The point is that no one will know how many teachers are armed. This means that schools will NO LONGER be killing fields. As long as a perpetrator believes that teachers MIGHT be armed they will not enter into the school. As long as schools are “gun free zones” they are killing fields.

  2. ksm

    The politicians should be passing safe gun laws so that children at school and innocent people going about their daily lives are safe. If not, the people should vote out such politicians.

  3. Jay Dent0n


    • ksm

      There have been so many shootings over the years at schools, departmental stores etc. Thousands of people are getting killed/injured each year on account of gun related violence. I am sure many of those killed/injured owned guns. How is that in none of the shootings over the years, law abiding people owing guns (including AR 15 type weapons) have not used their guns to save people’s lives? Did you ever use your gun(s) to save lives during any shooting in a school, dept.store, mall etc.?

      • VoiceofSanity

        ksm, I invite you to watch videos on YouTube of Active Self-Protection. Defensive gun use happens all of time. However, most ‘good guns’ are left at home for self-defense. It becomes a hassle to carry your firearm everywhere. There’s usually one of the stores you’re trying to visit that doesn’t allow firearms, so you have to lock it in your vehicle. I try to avoid those ‘gun free’ zones since they’re statistically more dangerous. Bad guys know everyone is unarmed.
        BTW, carrying an AR-15 shopping is ridiculous and AR-15 homicides are less than 4%, so let’s ignore that for now.
        How many mass shootings take place where everyone is armed? How many at gun ranges? Gun shows? Police stations? Even places with armed checkpoints it is very rare. And when there is a shooter, the first call you make is to someone with a gun. We would all be safer with more competent, trained gun-owners and fewer gun-owners with malicious intent.

    • Anna W.

      Jay, I grew up with guns in our home. A psycho was tested, her family said she should have never had one. When I had grandchildren my husband and I sold them.
      I have an alarm system and a Louisville Slugger. You can keep your gun. A crazy broke into a neighbor’s home and she called the police. He is with the Lord because the police shot his A$$.

      My grandson is a policeman, he has all the guns that a person who loves children need. We don’t give a crap about babies, we just want a gun. “Thy should not kill,” we don’t give our living children a chance. Just a bunch of hypocrites.

  4. Tara

    No clear solution regardless of how “simple” people make it seem. Appreciated that the article cited research. Facts over feelings.

    • Fred

      Fact- an armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.
      Opinion/feeling- guns kill people

      Solution: Allow the teachers who choose to to carry weapons

      • Jay Dent0n

        Right said! Fred

    • Jay Dent0n

      if u reread the article they put many of their feelings in there. Saying certain “studies” show arming schools offer little protection is BS. And that preventing access to guns works better, which is the height of feelings BS. Criminals don’t regard gun laws or any laws for that matter, that’s why they are criminals

      • Anna W.

        People talk about abortions, gun are killing more people. Obsession with a gun is a psycho.

        • VoiceofSanity

          Anna, from the most recent CDC data, there were 620,327 abortions in the US. The CDC also reported 45,222 gun deaths that same year. It’s not even close.

          • Anna W.

            No parents are sending their children to school to have their lives taken and gunned down by gun psycho’s. That love guns more than they do children.

            Pray that your children never have to face a psycho coming to murder them.

      • VoiceofSanity

        Jay, I have read those studies. One of the most touted studies that dismisses SRO effectiveness they limited the demographic to California. So Leftist policies show SROs have no effect. It defies logic. If armed SROs don’t deter shootings, why do you call more officers with guns to stop the shooter?

  5. Fred

    Don’t need to “hire” security. Every ISD (Independent School District) in Texas can allow teachers already on their payroll to get trained and be armed in the classroom.

    It’s been pretty well substantiated that one of these perpetrators will retreat when fired upon.

  6. VoiceofSanity

    A well written, unbiased article. Let me invite facts to quell the noise.
    Per FBI crime statistics, you are 4x more likely to be killed by a knife than a rifle. Of the rifle murders, a small fraction of them is by ‘assault’ style rifles. You are actually more likely to be killed by a blunt object (hammer, rock, etc) than by an ‘assault’ rifle. The vast majority of homicides are by handgun, specifically a 9mm caliber.

    95% of all mass shootings are in ‘gun free’ zones. In almost all cases, the shooter was stopped by another gun. Mass shootings at gun ranges and gun shows is near zero. Mass shootings at secured locations like concerts, sporting events, court houses and airports is also extremely low. Ted Cruz has introduced bill S.1081 to redirect the massive amount of unused COVID funds to secure schools.60% to 63% (studies vary) of gun deaths are suicides.
    The ‘gun show loophole’ is a myth. All gun dealers are required to have the purchaser complete a form 4473 and subsequent NICS background check. NICS e-check is obviously not stopping madmen from obtaining firearms. The NRA has been lobbying to Fix NICS since 2018 to keep firearms from those that shouldn’t have them, while allow the rest the opportunity to purchase.

    The US has a history and culture like no other nation and the solution will also be like no other. To say country X did Y and solved this issue ignores our inherit variables.

    Now that you have the facts, lobby your congressman accordingly.


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