A parent walks with their child from Woodmont Baptist Church where children were reunited with their families after a mass shooting at The Covenant School on March 27, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the past week, America has pondered two news stories involving schools, one tragic, the other cynical. On Monday, an attacker shot and killed three children and three adults in a Tennessee grade school, the latest in an almost-weekly parade of carnage in America’s classrooms. Days earlier, House Republicans, who have managed for decades to stymie meaningful national firearms restrictions, passed a “Parents Bill of Rights” that seeks to stick the federal government’s nose into local school policies on behalf of right-wing activists who view the nation’s overworked, underpaid teachers as the enemy. In a functioning political system, a major party would pay at the polls for displaying such warped priorities.

It’s a sad fact of modern American life that school shootings like the one at the Covenant Christian school in Nashville Monday have become so common that they tend to run together in the public’s mind. To the extent that this one stands out, it will be for the unusual fact that the 28-year-old shooter was transgender female – a factor that anti-trans bigots will no doubt focus upon, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of mass shooters are cisgender white males.

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