Reporter Tom Pappert Offers Thoughts on Why Vanderbilt University Medical Center Refuses to Answer Press Inquiries Surrounding Covenant Killer Case

Tom Pappert, lead reporter at The Tennessee Star who has reported extensively on The Star’s obtaining of more than 80 documents related to the case of Audrey Elizabeth Hale, the Covenant School killer, said Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has refused to respond to any of his press inquiries surrounding its involvement in the case of Hale, who reportedly had been receiving treatment from the hospital since 2001.

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Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary Details Importance of Bill that Tightened Duty to Report Law

Jason Zachary

Tennessee State Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) suggested his bill that strengthened the state’s duty to report law may have prevented the Covenant School shooting on March 27, 2023 in Nashville if implemented before the shooting took place.

Over the weekend, The Tennessee Star reported it was provided the name of the psychologist who was reportedly part of the care team for Covenant School killer Audrey Elizabeth Hale.

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Concealed Carry Now Allowed for Approved Tennessee School Staff

Tennessee school staff are now eligible to concealed carry firearms at school if they have met the criteria and gained proper approval.

The law went into effect after it was signed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. Several school districts have already said they will not take part in the concealed carry option, which requires the approval of the school principal, superintendent and local law enforcement department.

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Reporter Tom Pappert on Maryland Transgender Teen Arrested for Planning Mass Shooting: Police Were ‘Proactive,’ Took Threat Seriously

Andrea Ye

Tom Pappert, lead reporter at The Tennessee Star, discussed the latest developments surrounding a story out of Maryland where police arrested a transgender high school student for a 129-page manifesto that included plans for at least two school shootings.

On Friday, Pappert reported that the student, Andrea Ye, was arrested this week as police say she wrote the 129-page manifesto and shared it with a friend, who then notified police of the document.

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Transgender Teen Arrested for Planning Mass Shooting at Maryland High School, Police Seize Manifesto

Alex Ye

Police in Maryland confirmed on Friday that a transgender high school student was arrested after they claim she wrote a 129-page manifesto that included plans for at least two school shootings.

The Rockville Police Department (RPD) confirmed the Thursday arrest of Andrea Ye, who identifies as a transgender man, after a friend went to police with concerns over Ye’s manifesto.

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Suspect in Thwarted Memphis School Shooting Identified as Former Student

A man who was shot Monday by Memphis Police after discharging a firearm into the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South (MHA-FYOS) has been identified as a former student, according to a U.S. Congressman. 

“We have recently learned that the shooter at the Margolin Hebrew Academy was himself Jewish and a former student at the school,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) in a statement. “I am pleased the academy had effective security and that the police acted quickly to protect students.”

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Grand Ole Opry Set to Hold Benefit Concert Next Week to Support the Covenant School Community Fund

The Grand Ole Opry will host a benefit concert featuring performances by renowned artists to help raise funds for the Covenant School Community Fund.

The Covenant School Community Fund was formed after Audrey Hale, who identified as transgender, opened fire at The Covenant Presbyterian School in the Green Hills neighborhood in Nashville on March 27, killing six victims – three children.

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14-Year-Old Charged After Accidentally Discharging Gun in Knoxville High School

The Knoxville Police Department (KPD) at the end of last week that a teenage suspect was in custody after accidentally discharging a firearm inside a high school. 

“An investigation is underway after a gun possessed by a student at West High School discharged in a classroom. Preliminarily appears that the gun was in the student’s backpack,” KPD said on Twitter. “A teacher was grazed either by the bullet or bullet fragment. No serious injuries were reported. The student is in custody and the gun is accounted for.”

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Winsome Sears Confronts Bill Maher Over School Drag Queens, Transitions

Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears told HBO host Bill Maher to “read more” about drag queens in schools and childhood gender transitions on “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday night.

“Nobody’s talking about the opposite side of the equation, because we’re not finding that these children want to detransition and they can’t, they’re adults now,” Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears said. “And unfortunately, the breasts were cut off, their parts were cut off.”

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Commentary: The Bitter Fruit of Madness that has Poisoned a Generation

After the horrific massacre in Nashville, the Democratic Party is hellbent on feeding the malignant narcissism of the “trans community,” in which they see a reliable, perpetually aggrieved voter base and a tool with which to terrorize society.

This isn’t “Christian nationalism.” Virtually every institution is sending a message that murderous violence toward Christians is acceptable, or at least less bad than exposing the “trans community” to obloquy. Law enforcement is obstructing the release of the manifesto. Merrick Garland won’t call it a hate crime, and neither will Joe Biden, who apparently thinks this is all a big joke.

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Governor Bill Lee Reveals Two Adults Killed in The Covenant School Shooting Were Longtime Friends of First Lady Maria Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee addressed the state on Tuesday in a video posted to social media just one day after six victims, including three children, were gunned down by 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale at The Covenant School in Nashville.

The governor revealed that two of the victims – Cynthia Peak, age 61, and Katherine Koonce, age 60 – were longtime family friends of First Lady Maria Lee.

In a video posted to social media Tuesday evening, Bill Lee said, “All of Tennessee was hurt yesterday, but some parents woke up without children. Children woke up without parents, without teachers. And spouses woke up without their loved ones.”

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Katie Hobbs’ Press Secretary Resigns After Tweet Threatening Violence Against Those Critical of Promoting Transgenderism

Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ press secretary Josselyn Berry resigned Tuesday evening after outrage over a now-deleted tweet threatening to use violence against those who disagree with promoting transgenderism. Coming less than 12 hours after a transgender fatally shot students and staff at a Christian elementary school she used to attend in Tennessee, the Arizona Freedom Caucus led the call for her to resign.

Berry, who has a history of partisan offensive tweets, tweeted, “Us when we see transphobes,” captioning a photo of a woman with a determined look pointing two guns. The photo is from the movie “Gloria,” featuring the late actress Gena Rowlands. In the 1980 movie, the character Gloria shoots and kills gangsters. 

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DeWine to Ohio Superintendents: $100 Million Budgeted for School Safety Grants

Ohio schools will receive $100 million in total to purchase security equipment as part of the next round of K-12 School Safety Grants, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) wrote to superintendents on Friday.

The allocations, which come as a part of the state’s capital budget bill that DeWine signed into law last week, will go toward purchases such as outdoor lighting, facility-mapping software, school-radio systems, door-locking technology and visitor-badge systems. The Ohio School Safety Center in Columbus is now drafting the application for schools to access this money and expects to soon start the application process.

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Tennessee Sheriff to Potential School Shooters: ‘We Will Eliminate You’

After a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas sparked a conversation about school safety, a Tennessee sheriff sent a strong message to those who might consider perpetrating violence in his county’s schools. 

“Due to the recent school shootings, the latest occurring in Texas, as your Sheriff, who provides the Student Resource Deputies in each of the public schools in Putnam County, I want to provide a message to anyone thinking about committing an act of violence that would harm our children or faculty at our schools,” Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said in a statement. 

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Florida Sen. Rick Scott Defends 2018 Gun Control Law

Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) defended his signing of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act back in 2018 in the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Uvalde, Tex. The then-bill raised the firearm purchasing age and established a Red Flag law. Scott defended his actions on the Hugh Hewitt Show, reminding listeners he was governor during the Parkland school shooting tragedy.

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Push for Gun Control in Pennsylvania Expands to Body-Armor Control

A bill proposed last week by state Rep. Tim Briggs (D-PA-King of Prussia) would bar civilians from buying or possessing body armor in Pennsylvania. 

His legislation follows efforts on the federal level and in other states to prohibit civilians from acquiring protective shields. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for a body-armor ban in 2019 after a mass shooting in Dayton, OH. The New York State Assembly has considered enacting state-level restrictions over the last few sessions, but a bill to do so has stalled.

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Rothman Proposal Would Make Death Penalty Likelier for Killings at Pennsylvania Schools, Certain Other Settings

Pennsylvania state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Camp Hill) last week announced he intends to introduce a measure allowing courts to impose the death penalty for killings based on their taking place in some settings including schools.

Currently, a convict can receive a death sentence in the Keystone State if a court finds he or she committed a murder to which at least one of 18 statutorily defined “aggravating circumstances” and no “mitigating circumstances” apply. Aggravating circumstances include the victim having served as a police officer or other first responder, the defendant having committed the killing for hire or the killer having held the victim hostage. Mitigating circumstances include the perpetrator having no prior criminal history or the killer having committed his or her crime under “extreme duress.”

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Uvalde Police Face Criticism over Response to Texas School Shooting

Law enforcement authorities in Uvalde, Texas are facing questions and criticism over how much time elapsed during the elementary school shooting Tuesday, before a U.S. Border Patrol team burst in and shot the gunman to death, the Associated Press reported.

There were conflicting reports on Thursday regarding the timeline of events, with some eyewitnesses saying police hesitated outside the building as the gunman, Salvador Ramos, was inside shooting schoolkids, while officials say the police engaged immediately.

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Pennsylvania Senate Democrat Proposes Eligibility License for Guns

A day after the school shooting in Uvalde, TX, Pennsylvania Democrats are calling for more stringent gun control in the state, with state Sen. Art Haywood (D-Abington) proposing eligibility licenses for firearm purchases. 

Pennsylvania already administers licenses to carry firearms in Pennsylvania, for which any person who is at least 21 years old and has a clean record may apply.

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Attorney General Nessel Offers to Review Oxford Shooting

Attorney General Dana Nessel has offered to review the Oxford High School shooting that has left four students dead.

Nessel’s spokeswoman Lynsey Mukomel told The Center Square in an email that they offered the AG’s services “to conduct a full and comprehensive review of the 11/30/21 shooting and the events leading up to it.”

“Our attorneys and special agents are uniquely qualified to perform an investigation of this magnitude and are prepared to perform an extensive investigation and inquiry to answer the many questions the community has regarding this tragedy,” the email read.

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Tate Myre, Killed by Michigan School Shooter, Lauded for His Heroic Actions

An online petition has been launched to rename the Oxford High School football stadium after Tate Myre, one of four students killed this week by a school shooter in suburban Detroit and whose heroics during the massacre likely saved lives.

Myre, a 16-year-old football player, sacrificed himself Tuesday in an effort to save classmates by rushing the shooter in an attempt to disarm him and give other students time to run away. He reportedly suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died as he was being rushed to the hospital.

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Three Students Dead in School Shooting in North Detroit, Eight Others Injured

Three students were killed Tuesday in a shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland, Detroit. A suspected teen shooter has been taken into custody, and officials have recovered a handgun. Several others also have been injured in the attack, according to authorities.

Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said in addition to the three deceased, eight people were shot, including a teacher. He estimated that 15 to 20 shots were fired in total. Officers conducted a third search of the high school to ensure there were no other victims.

The students who lost their lives have been identified as 14 and 17-year-old girls, in addition to a 16-year-old boy.

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Texas School Shooter Released on Bail One Day After Mass Shooting

A Texas high school student who opened fire on his campus and wounded four people has been released on bail the day after he carried out his shooting, as reported by the New York Post.

Timothy Simpkins, an 18-year-old African-American student of Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, was on the run for a brief period of time after committing the shooting yesterday, with the story drawing national attention for several hours. He eventually turned himself in, accompanied by his lawyer, after an extensive manhunt.

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Report: Colorado Shooting Suspects Motivated By ‘Revenge And Anger,’ One Suspect Transgender

by Mary Margaret Olohan   The motive of the Colorado shooting suspects “went beyond bullying and involved revenge and anger towards others at the school,” sources close to the investigation told the Denver Channel. The shooting resulted in one death with eight other students wounded. At least one of the suspects had been in therapy and illegally used drugs, the Channel also reported. One of the suspects, Devon Erickson, is an adult while the other unnamed suspect is a minor. Facebook posts reveal that 18-year-old Devon Erickson previously expressed hatred for Christians, according to Heavy. “You know what I hate? All these Christians who hate gays, yet in the bible, it says in Deuteronomy 17:12-13, if someone doesn’t do what their priest tells them to do, they are supposed to die. It has plenty of crazy stuff like that,” Erickson wrote in one Facebook post several years ago. “But all they get out of it is ‘ewwwwww gays.’” The second suspect, identified by police as a “juvenile female” was transitioning from female to male at the time of the attack, the Channel reported. Erickson is a registered Democrat who has praised former President Barack Obama and criticized President Donald Trump…

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Former UNC Charlotte Student Charged with Murder for Allegedly Shooting Up School

by Neetu Chandak   A former University of North Carolina at Charlotte student was charged with murder following a shooting at the school Tuesday that killed two. Trystan Terrell, 22, was charged with two counts of murder among several other charges, ABC News reported Wednesday. #BREAKING: Man in handcuffs calls out to @WBTV_News cameras as he's led into police headquarters uptown. Working to confirm he is suspected #UNCC shooter. Police confirm one person is in custody. 2 people are dead, 4 others are injured @unccharlotte » — Mark Davenport (@TheDavenReport) May 1, 2019 “I just went into a classroom and shot the guys,” Terrell said as he was led away in handcuffs by officials, according to The Associated Press. Terrell withdrew from the school earlier in the semester, ABC reported. “You’re describing someone foreign to me,” Terrel’s grandfather Paul Rold said, according to the AP. “This is not in his DNA.” Ellis Parlier, 19, and Riley Howell, 21, were killed in the shooting. Drew Pescaro, 19, Sean Dehart, 20, Emily Houpt, 23, and Rami Alramadhan, 20, were all injured. Three of the students were in critical condition and one had a non-life threatening injury, according to ABC. Gunshots…

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MSM’s Exaggeration of School Shootings Not in Line With Reality

Steve Gill

On Monday’s Gill Report – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 1510 WLAC weekdays at 7:30 am – Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill explained how the media’s overblown commentary and emotional stirring of paranoia regarding school shootings is unrealistic in comparison to the death of children in common day bike, helmet, and car wrecks.  Gill goes on to comment that “ten times more kids are killed each year walking to school than are killed in these school shootings.” He continued: A new US Department of Education study is not getting a lot of media attention. But it did get a little bit of attention from NPR. Not exactly a bastion of conservative news media. Now they examined the US Department of Education’s study and discovered that over sixty six percent of reported school shootings for the 2015 and 2016 school year, never occurred. Yet the education department claims there were nearly two hundered and forty schools which reported at least one incident involving a school reported, or school related shooting. But when NPR contacted the schools in the districts, they were able to substantiate that one hundred and sixty-one, of the  two hundred and forty incidents quote, ‘never happened’. NEVER…

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Commentary: Democrat Judge Releases Muslims Arrested At School Shooting Training Compound

Sarah Backus

by George Rasley   Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was arrested along with several other adults at a squalid compound in New Mexico. Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam, also named Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Post reported. During the raid eleven abused children were taken into care by authorities and the remains of one dead child (since identified as Wahhaj’s son) were found at the compound. Lucas Morton, Jany Leveille, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35, were arrested along with Wahhaj on the property on Friday and all face child abuse charges according to Fox News. Wahhaj, who has now been charged with felony child abuse, had reportedly been training the children to commit school shootings. The makeshift compound – located near the Colorado border – was found shielded by old tires, wooden pallets and other debris. Upon authorities’ arrival, Wahhaj was “heavily armed with an AR15 rifle, five loaded 30 round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket when he was taken down,” Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said according to reporting by Fox. The sheriff said the…

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Prosecutors: Son Of Prominent Brooklyn-based Imam Was Training Children To Commit School Shootings

terror training

by Chuck Ross   The son of a prominent Brooklyn-based imam was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit schools shootings, prosecutors said in court documents released Wednesday. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, was training 11 children at a compound north of Taos, New Mexico, according to The Associated Press. Authorities raided the compound Friday and arrested Wahhaj, two of his siblings and two other men during a search for Wahhaj’s son, who had been abducted from Georgia late in 2017. A 3-year-old boy was found buried near the compound, but has not been identified. Wahhaj’s son was not among the children rescued. Residents in Amalia, New Mexico, near the Colorado border, had complained for months about the squalid conditions of the makeshift compound before Friday’s raid, according to news reports. Authorities recovered multiple firearms as well as an AR-15. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Tuesday that authorities initially did not have enough evidence to search the compound. Wahhaj and his son were not spotted on the property. A breakthrough came last week when authorities received a tip that a starving child might be living at the compound. Wahhaj’s father, also named Siraj, is a controversial cleric with close…

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New Book ‘#DUPED’ Shoots Down All Of Hogg’s Rhetoric

Mark W. Smith, David Hogg

by Molly Prince   Constitutional lawyer and New York Times best-selling author Mark Smith combats David Hogg’s rhetoric in his latest book, “#Duped,” which serves as a response to the newly-minted gun-control activist and Parkland graduate’s recently released book, “#NeverAgain.” Smith exposes the left’s celebration and exploitation of students in order to advance so-called common sense gun control. “#Duped: How The Anti-Gun Lobby Exploits The Parkland School Shooting — And How Gun Owners Can Fight Back” deconstructs the progressive narrative and illustrates how advocates use children to promulgate an agenda that is so unpalatable they have failed to otherwise enact. Smith writes: From a political standpoint, children are ideal carriers of messages because they are unassailable, particularly if they have a direct connection to a tragedy. For the gun control movement, children represent a win-win-win. They are sympathetic, they are beyond reproach, and they cannot be challenged by anyone. These factors make children ripe for exploitation and explain why we see so many of them in the media today promoting gun control.” “#Duped” exposes not just why the anti-gun movement uses children, but also how. Using correspondence within the Obama administration, Smith highlights the parallels between the left’s response to both the…

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Tennessee Firearms Association Says Gubernatorial Candidates Need to Hear from More Teachers About School Safety

armed teachers

John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA), says Tennessee’s candidates for Governor need to listen to more teachers before they speak for teachers. Harris was referring to whether teachers who have a carry permit should be allowed to carry on campus in order to protect themselves, their students and their colleagues in the event of a school shooting situation. Currently, less than half of Tennessee’s 1800 schools have an armed School Resource Officer (SRO) on campus leaving most Tennessee school children vulnerable. During Tuesday night’s gubernatorial forum in Nashville, three of the five major candidates participating indicated that they opposed allowing trained and permitted teachers to carry their weapons on school grounds as an additional line of protection in the event of a shooting incident on campus. Democrats Craig Fitzhugh and Karl Dean, and Republican Beth Harwell all indicated that they did not support allowing teachers to be armed. Governor Bill Haslam, Vanderbilt professors, and the Tennessee teachers’ union (Tennessee Education Association) strongly opposed legislation sponsored by David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) that would have permitted teachers to carry guns on campus. Republicans Bill Lee and Randy Boyd both said they supported allowing teachers who wished to do so, and were…

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Professional Educators of Tennessee’s Teacher Survey Reveals Widespread Reliance on Unarmed Student Resource Officers

School safety - armed versus unarmed protection

Professional Educators of Tennessee (ProED Tennessee) recently surveyed over 1400 Tennessee educators about school safety and potential ways to improve security at our schools. The statewide survey questions (conducted February 27-March 12) are available here. While an overwhelming number of respondents, 88%, felt either safe or somewhat safe at their schools, there are some concerns about whether policies and procedures are actually being followed at all schools. 75% of those surveyed indicated that there has been a recent increase in security procedures and awareness. However, only 62% say their school has an “active shooter” protocol in place. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that only 55% report that their School Resource Officer (SRO) carries a side-arm. Apparently, a huge percentage of Tennessee schools are protected only by security “monitors” rather than someone who can respond effectively and immediately in the event of a threat to the school. When it comes to arming teachers, which is a significant point of contention among policy makers, 53% of Tennessee educators responding to the survey indicated that they personally would be unlikely to carry a firearm if it was allowed. However, 63% felt that properly trained personnel should be allowed to carry a weapon at…

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Kentucky Congressman Proposes to Repeal ‘Gun-Free Zones Act’

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, where he made the case that since the majority of mass public shootings take place in gun-free zones like schools, the Gun-Free School Zone Act on 1990 – which makes it a crime to bring a gun on school grounds – should be repealed. “This week I talked to two survivors of Columbine. One of them, Even Todd, related to me his story of being in the library when the two shooters came in. He was the first one shot. He hid under a desk. They found his and he pleaded for his life, then he escaped from the library, ran outside, and there were two police behind a shed.  They had taken up a position and weren’t going in. “Now,  he tells me he that forgives the adults that day. The legislators, the administrators, and the police, because they couldn’t foresee what was going to happen at Columbine. “He said it’s a shame, here we are 20 years later, it’s still happening, and people are rolling out these solutions that will do nothing.” Massie continued, “He supports my bill the ‘Safe Students Act’ which would repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zone Act.”…

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