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USA News

‘A pattern of increasing desperation’: Minister calls for compassion after trans person kills 6 at Christian school

by Heather Preston

A minister has highlighted a lack of “options and support” for “desperate” people following another school shooting in America.

Her remarks follow the killings of six people at a Christian primary school in Tennessee yesterday– including three children aged nine years old.

Transgender former pupil Audrey Hale, (28) blasted into The Covenant School, Nashville armed with two assault weapons and a hand gun.

Hale was killed by police at the scene.

Following the attack, US President Joe Biden has called on Congress to tighten gun laws, to ban certain semi-automatic weapons.

Speaking to Premier, Rev. Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, Senior Minister at the American International Church in London said she’s heartbroken to hear of yet another shooting.

“My initial response was, oh, no, not again. Because this news is happening far too often and far too frequently in the US. And nothing has changed […] except that we've added more grieving and traumatised families and children to the list.”

The event comes just weeks after the state of Tennessee banned transgender medical interventions for minors.

On 2nd March governor Bill Lee made Tennessee the latest state to prohibit irreversible procedures on young people. The bill prevents health care professionals from “performing on a minor or administering to a minor a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor's sex."

Mills-Knutsen says she sees an increasing pattern of “desperation” that is leading people to violence.

“I don't think we can draw any conclusions until we know more about the particular circumstances of this shooting. But I know that we can see this as part of a much broader pattern of people who are feeling increasingly desperate, and are taking that desperation out on others in violence.

“We can see a pattern where easy and convenient access to high powered military grade weapons is causing massive destruction and trauma.

“And we can see a pattern where there are people who feel like they have no option and no support other than this kind of act of horrific violence.”

Acknowledging that prayer is always important, Mills-Knutsen expressed her frustration that more isn’t being done to both protect the vulnerable against attack and support those struggling with violent thoughts.

“I am tired of having this conversation with you. Not because I'm not always willing to pray but because we shouldn't have to keep coming back here time and time again.

“How can we be taking steps to help those who might look to violence as an answer? Find other sources of strength and support and hope?

“How do we act in a way that helps us love one another in a way that Christ has taught us to do, so that no one feels desperate enough to commit this kind of crime in the future.”



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