Mourners gather in Nashville for candlelight vigil to honor victims of Covenant school shooting 

by Jacob Fuller

Matt Bush, FISM News

Just two days after six victims were shot and killed inside their own school, a citywide candlelight vigil was held in the heart of Nashville to honor the victims.

The victims were shot and killed by a 28-year-old, trans-identifying former student of Covenant School. Those gathered at the vigil, including First Lady Jill Biden, Nashville Mayor John Cooper, Nashville police Chief John Drake, and other clergy members and local officials, paid their respects to the lives of the children and the bravery of the man and women who died at the hands of Audrey Hale.

“Many of us have hoped and prayed that these evil acts that we saw would never happen in Nashville,” Drake said.

We are grateful to the team of officers who rushed into the school building without hesitation Monday morning to locate and stop the threat before any more innocent victims were harmed. Our police officers have cried, and are crying with Nashville, and the world. I have cried and continued to cry, and I have prayed for Nashville as well.

Those gathered at the vigil prayed, sang, and cried together while Gov. Bill Lee called for prayer and asked for people to focus on mourning before bringing up politics and legislative possibilities.

President Biden’s response was in direct opposition to what Gov. Lee called for when he addressed his constituents. “We owe these families more than our prayers,” Biden told a crowd in Durham, NC. “We owe them action. You know, we have to do more to stop this gun violence.”

Biden went on to say that the Second Amendment is not absolute and then blasted Republicans for not helping him to pass an assault rifle ban.


Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) of Tennessee, on the other hand, called out the actions of Hale and other mass shooters as horrendous, but concluded that lawmakers in Washington D.C. “are not going to fix it” and that their involvement would only “mess things up.”

“If you want to legislate evil, it’s just not going to happen,” Burchett said. “We need a real revival in this country. Let’s call on our Christian ministers and our people of faith.”

Burchett continued, “I don’t think you’re gonna stop the gun violence, I think you gotta change people’s hearts.”


White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Burchett and other GOP leaders who have voiced opposition to banning semi-automatic weapons.

“It’s unacceptable that Republicans are saying there’s nothing we can do. Our schools, our churches, our places of worship have now become deadly places for many Americans who have lost their lives just this past year,” Jean-Pierre said at a press conference Wednesday. “If they had courage, they would be introducing legislation banning assault weapons today. That’s what they would be doing today.”

Burchett, Drake, Lee, and others called for the state and the nation to pray. To leave politics out of the equation even if just for a couple of days while the nation mourns and the families and friends of those who were killed have a chance to process the incredible tragedy.

Biden and the White House, on the other hand, immediately called for political action and tried to advance their agenda of taking assault rifles off of the streets. Biden himself, a professing Catholic, downplayed the role of prayer saying it was not enough and was an excuse for inaction in the face of tragedy.