Ross: After the Nashville shooting, is this finally enough?

Mar 29, 2023, 7:56 AM | Updated: 9:12 am

Nashville shooting...

Girls embrace in front of a makeshift memorial for victims by the Covenant School building at the Covenant Presbyterian Church following a shooting, in Nashville, Tennessee, March 29, 2023. - A heavily armed former student killed three young children and three staff in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack at a private elementary school in Nashville on March 27, 2023, before being shot dead by police. Chief of Police John Drake named the suspect as Audrey Hale, 28, who the officer later said identified as transgender. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s the same question we ask every time: Is this finally enough?

I notice that Republican Congressman Josh Hawley proposed a resolution to define the Nashville shooting as an anti-Christian hate crime, because the shooter deliberately targeted a Christian school. Considering Mr. Hawley was the lone no vote on the most recent hate crime bill, that’s real progress, but it doesn’t solve the problem.

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And then there was Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who noted that the shooter identified as transgender and may have been getting hormone therapy and, therefore, we can “stop blaming guns.” And, by implication, start blaming hormones.

Well, hormones can be powerful, but hormones can’t mow down people in a classroom.

And anyway, who’s “blaming the guns?” We all know guns don’t shoot themselves — yet, anyway.

But what we can blame is a system that allows gun sales to complete strangers.

This is another case where all the guns were legally purchased. Yet gun sellers can legally refuse to sell a weapon for any reason. So where’s the no-buy list?

The family knew she had serious emotional problems and that she liked guns. Put her name on the no-buy list.

But there is no such list. So this shooter was able to buy seven guns legally – as can any emotionally disturbed person who passes a background check – whether they’re taking hormones, nursing a grudge, hearing voices, or have no idea even how to use a weapon.

Someday – 10, 20, or 100 shootings from now – there may be a Supreme Court that finally looks at the full text of the Second Amendment and figures out that even back in 1787, the words “A well-regulated militia” did not mean “An un-well, un-regulated random person.”

The court will have to do this because we are approaching a critical mass of bereaved, terrified, and enraged survivors wondering why it’s legal for gun shops to sell military weapons to basically any walk-in without any attempt to find out whether they can be trusted with the power to mow down a room full of people.

And if the court doesn’t act? Well – the concept of reparations appears to be catching on. And if it’s ever applied to the gun industry, guns will be so expensive that the Second Amendment won’t matter.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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