Innocent lives lost, political bias exposed
The media and Biden's response to a tragedy differs depending on the victims.
On the last Monday of March, just two weeks before Easter, 200 children between the ages of 3 to 12 sat in their classrooms at the private Christian school The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. The typical bustling sounds of children playing and learning were suddenly disrupted by the sound of gunshots and shattering glass. The intermittent sounds of gunshots continued for approximately 15 minutes. When they finally went silent, the lives of six innocent people, including three 9-year-olds, were tragically ended, and a community was left traumatized.
I will share the details of this tragic event that resulted in the loss of 6 innocent lives, the events leading up to the shooting, and finally, the disappointing, inconsistent, and politicized response from the media and the Biden administration.
The last Monday of March
Audrey Hale was a 28-year-old woman and former student of The Covenant School. She was described by those who knew her as quiet and sweet, and many did not know she had recently begun to identify as a man.
She left her parents’ home, where she lived, wearing a white t-shirt, camouflage pants, and a red baseball cap while carrying a red bag. Her mother did not know it then, but she likely was carrying several firearms in that bag. They did not know Hale had legally purchased seven guns from five local gun stores and had been planning a mass shooting for months. Hale's parents knew she had owned a firearm, but it was their understanding that she had sold it. So, they did not think anything of the red bag she carried that morning when leaving the house.
Hale got into her Honda Fit and drove from her house located at the 3000 block of Brightwood Ave to the neighborhood of Green Hills. She arrived in the parking lot of The Covenant School at 9:54 am.
At 9:57 am, she sent an Instagram message to her former basketball teammate and friend, Averianna Patton.
"I'm planning to die today. You'll probably hear about me on the news after I die."
"My family doesn't know what I'm about to do. One day this will make more sense. I've left more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen."
Patton calls the Suicide Prevention Help Line and Nashville police.
At 10:11 am school, surveillance footage captures Hale at a locked side entrance with glass doors. Hale raises her firearm and shoots out the glass. She then climbs through the doors carrying a Kel-Tec SUB2000, a Grunt rifle, and a 9 mm pistol while wearing a vest carrying additional magazines.
It's reported that Hale pulled the fire alarm to lure students and teachers out of their classrooms.
At 10:13 am, the first of several 911 calls were placed reporting the shooting. One caller reported leaving the church with six preschool-aged children upon learning about the active shooter threat. The dispatcher was told that the attacker was a white man in camouflage with a vest and an assault rifle.
Another caller, a teacher, speaks with a dispatcher in a hushed voice. A child can be heard whimpering in the background. When the dispatcher asks if she is in a safe place, the woman tells the dispatcher they’re located upstairs by the art room hallway. Gunshots can be heard in the background.
Chad Scruggs – Covenant Presbyterian’s senior pastor and the father of one of the victims – called emergency services after learning about the shooting.
“Are you inside?” the dispatcher asks after Scruggs says there’s an active shooter. “No. I’m the lead pastor. I’m going that way now,” Scruggs replies, adding that he was “getting calls from inside.”
There is no sign during the call whether Scruggs knows his daughter had been shot.
At 10:25 am, Nashville Metro Police arrive at the school and enter the building, clearing the first floor. Shots can be heard from the second floor.
The officers climb up two flights of stairs, arrive at the second floor, and head down a hallway that opens up to what appears to be a reception area with an atrium to the right.
Hale fires at the officers, and the officers return fire.
10:27 am, police confirm that Hale is dead.
Hale had fired 157 total rounds and killed six people Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9; William Kinney, 9; Hallie Scruggs, 9; Katherine Koonce, 60; Cynthia Peak, 61 and Mike Hill, 61.
Mike Hill was a school custodian.
Katherine Koonce was the head of the Covenant School.
Cynthia Peak was a substitute teacher.
Hallie Scruggs was a third-grader and daughter of lead Pastor Chad Scruggs. She was classmates with Evelyn Dieckhaus, who was also killed.
William Kinney was a third-grader at the Covenant School.
What did we learn after the shooting?
Hale acted alone when she targeted The Covenant School. However, during an interview with NBC Lester Hold, Nashville police Chief John Drake stated that she had considered other targets, including a mall and possibly family. Still, she was concerned about the security at these other locations and determined that the school was an easier target.
Drake stated that the victims were fired upon at random. It has been incorrectly reported that Hale was being counseled by lead Pastor Chad Scruggs, whose daughter Hailey Scruggs was a victim of Hale's. Pastor Scruggs was not counseling Hale and had never met her.
Within her belongings, a manifesto was discovered. The Nashville police handed over the manifesto to the FBI, and it has yet to be released. Many are beginning to doubt it will ever be released.
On Friday, Nashville Channel 5 reported during a Tennessee Sheriffs' Association meeting that the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), David Rausch, provided information about the manifesto found at the Nashville shooter’s home. According to Rausch, the material found did not provide a clear motive for the shooting and instead consisted of rambling writings. Rausch said the journals did not mention any specific political, religious, or social issues. Instead, the journals seemed to focus on idolizing previous school shooters.
This partially contradicts what Chief Drake said during interviews shortly following the shooting. When asked if how she identified had anything to do with her targeting the school Chief Drake responded, “There is some theory to that, we are investigating all the leads, and once we know exactly, we will let you know.”
The motive behind the school shooting is still unknown.
Hale used "male pronouns" on social media, indicating that Hale was transgender. During the police interview with the parents, the parents stated that Hale was under a doctor’s care for an "emotional disorder." What that disorder was and how she was being treated is not known.
The Daily Mail reports that Hale, who recently changed her name to Aiden and identified as gay and transgender, was at odds with her Christian parents, who refused to accept her gender identity. The Daily Mail also reported that Hale had to wait to leave their home in order to dress as a man.
A source close to the Hale family told the Daily Beast that Hale was autistic but high-functioning — “and relatively recently announced she was transgender, identifying as he/him.”
In a video of an art show from 2022, she was still using the name, Audrey. Her LinkedIn profile also had the name Audrey although she listed he/him pronouns. She also signed off on one of her last Instagram messages to her former classmate Audrey (Aidan).
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Hale graduated from Nossi College of Art & Design in Nashville and worked as a freelance graphic designer and a part-time grocery shopper. Hale won "Most Improved" and "Class Participation" awards from Nossi.
She was deeply affected and “heartbroken” over the 2022 death of Sydney Sims, a girl she was “infatuated” with, who had played on the same basketball team in school, according to Samira Hardcastle, a classmate of both girls. Hale had posted a TikTok on a since-deleted account, “iam_aiden10,” dedicated to “Syd” in February. Hardcastle said she had last seen Audrey a month ago and thought Audrey “looked up” to Sydney.
Maria Colomy, a former instructor at the Nossi College of Art & Design, who taught Hale, said her transition began around the same time as she was grieving the loss of her friend Sydney.
The victims are not big enough victims to merit the same response as real victims.
It is unfortunate but not surprising that politicians, activists, and the media will politicize an event to push an agenda or narrative in the aftermath of a tragic event. And let me be clear everyone does it, but the politicization and response, or lack of response, was particularly telling in this instance.
In virtually every past mass shooting that took place within a religious or minority community, hatred against the victims’ religious beliefs or community affiliation is mentioned. However, the killing of six innocent Christians by a woman who identified as transgender was not given any significance by the Biden administration or the mainstream media.
The media’s bias is showing
Of course, the media reported on the event, provided details about Hale and published obligatory gun control articles. But they never once presented the hypothesis of this being a hate crime. Even in the past, accusations of hate crime or extremism would typically follow an event like The Covenant School shooting. There were no articles about the previous recent shootings perpetrated by transgender individuals, the increased hateful language on social media towards Christians, or the two planned shootings by transgender individuals thwarted by authorities the week following The Covenant School shooting.
The media instead focused on making sure that they were using the correct pronouns, and CBS News executives told their staffers, not to mention Hale’s transgender identity. “The shooter’s gender identity has not been confirmed by CBS News,” a memo obtained by the NY Post stated. “As such, we should avoid any mention of it as it has no known relevance to the crime. Should that change, we can and will revisit.”
A freelance reporter for NBC News, Benjamin Ryan, attempted to link the shooting to the Daily Wire, headquartered in Nashville, and its commentators Ben Shapiro and Matt Walsh. The tweet has since been deleted, but screenshots are forever.
Not surprisingly, the Biden administration and the media were on the same page, but politicians have to politician and take it a step further.
Biden’s bias is showing
It has been over two weeks since the small community of Covenant Presbyterian was forever changed. Biden has yet to mention the victims were Christian or that a hate crime was committed, even though in the past, he has been very quick to make such connections even when there was no evidence of it being the case.
A reminder, this occurred a short time before Easter and within the same week of Trans Day of Visibility. Tenessee had recently been in the news for passing bills restricting drag shows in front of minors and banning medical transition for minors. Also, a protest outside the Supreme Court called “Tran Day of Vengence,” organized by the Trans Radical Activist Network (TRAN) was planned for Friday.
Biden first publicly mentioned the shooting while delivering remarks at the Small Business Administration's Women's Business Summit in the East Room of the White House. But before he mentioned the shooting, he joked about ice cream, which led to a very awkward moment.
After this, he wanted to “speak very briefly about the school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.” Calling it “sick,” “heartbreaking,” and a “family’s worst nightmare.” He then shifted to a call for an “assault weapons” ban. However, Biden does not broach the victims' Christian faith or the fact that the perpetrator was trans.
The day following the shooting, Sen. Josh Hawley requested that the FBI investigate the shooting as a hate crime. When Biden is asked if he believes the shooting could be a hate crime against Christians, he responds, “I don’t know.” When told that Hawley believes it was, he jokes and responds, “Then probably not.”
He does, however, release a Trans Day of Visibility statement accusing “MAGA extremists” of “advancing hundreds of hateful and extreme state laws that target transgender kids and their families.”
And when he finally does address the shooting on social media, the Christian faith of the victims is omitted. Suddenly, he is not addressing the clear religious nature of a shooting. He did call for an “assault weapons” ban, though he did not mention the Nashville shooting in the tweet, at least not until a later tweet, where he wrote that "we owe them action." The action, of course, is an “assault weapons” ban.
Biden did issue a proclamation directing that flags be put at half-staff in honor of the victims. Four days later, the White House released a statement and fact sheet on Transgender Day of Visibility. That same day on Instagram and Twitter, Biden shared a graphic stating, "Transgender People Deserve Love, Dignity, and Respect."
The caption read,
“To the Transgender community: we want you to know that you are seen – made in the image of God and deserving of dignity, respect, and support. And, know this. You are so brave.
Affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy.
Our Administration will never quit fighting to stop discrimination, stand against unjust state laws, and guarantee everyone the fundamental right and freedom to be who they are.”
This administration does not care about its Christian citizens. It doesn’t fit well with the political agenda or its voter base. Not when the victims are white Christians, and the perpetrator is trans. But it fully supports the medical transition of minor children, making them lifelong medical patients. During a press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said (THE FOLLOWING), "LGBTQI+ kids are resilient. They are fierce. They fight back. They are not going anywhere, and we have their back. This administration has their back."
Biden is comfortable attributing LGBT and religious hate as motives
If you are saying, “But we don’t know the motive. They haven’t released the manifesto.” I would say you are correct; we do not know the motive. But that has never stopped Biden in the past from politicizing religion or the marginalized identity of victims in other shootings and attributing them to unconfirmed motives.
On March 17, just over a week before the Covenant School shooting, Biden commemorated the two-year anniversary of the Atlanta-area spa shootings in which eight people — six of them Asian women — were killed. Using the opportunity to bring attention to anti-Asian hate.
In his statement, Biden said, “I want you to know that I see you. My administration sees you. And we are determined to end the scourge of gun violence, anti-Asian hate, and all forms of racism and extremism in this Nation.” The only problem is authorities attribute his motive to sex addiction, not racism.
In 2022 Biden was completely fine with mentioning the religion of the victims of the 2012 Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, resulting in six deaths. The perpetrator did have a history of white supremacist sympathies. Still, the motive was not confirmed, but Biden was comfortable mentioning it as "the deadliest attack on Sikh Americans in our nation’s history." He also said that attacks on houses of worship have become more common over the past decade, and “No one should fear for their life when they bow their head in prayer or go about their lives in America.”
In 2021, Biden and Vice President Harris released statements to commemorate the three years since the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that left 11 dead. The victim’s faith was a central focus of their statements. It is reported that the perpetrator made anti-Semitic comments during the shooting. Again, Biden was comfortable mentioning the victims' faith.
Also in 2021, just four months after Biden was sworn in as President, he designated the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, a national memorial to honor the 49 people killed in a 2016 mass shooting. He urged Congress to pass laws explicitly protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ people.
"Our presence this afternoon makes a very strong statement: Pride is back at the White House," Biden said after being introduced by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, and a young transgender man, Ashton Mota.
Only thing is that authorities attribute the motive of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub to an act of Islamic extremism by a 29-year-old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, it was civil rights activists said the massacre was a hate crime targeting gay men and Latinos that frequented the club.
In November 2022, a man entered the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs, killing 5 and injuring 25 people. Following the shooting, Biden denounced the targeting of the LGBTQ community.
“Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence,” he said in a statement. “We cannot and must not tolerate hate.”
There was no known motive at the time of his statement, and there still isn’t. However, in the footnotes of court filings, it is indicated that the shooter identifies as non-binary, uses they/them pronouns, and wants to be referred to with the prefix Mx. Whether this is true or a tactic is not known, just like the motive.
Visiting the victims
Depending on the political optics a tragedy can provide will determine if it merits a personal visit, a phone call, a first lady visit, or a lie.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden (can’t forget she is a doctor) attended the candlelight vigil honoring the six victims of the shooting at the Covenant School. She did not meet with any of the families or make any remarks. President Biden has made no contact with any of the victims’ families or members of Covenant Presbyterian.
On May 14, 2022, a shooting occurred at a Tops Friendly supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY, killing 10 victims. Biden visited Buffalo a few days later and spoke a short distance from the grocery store calling the shooting a “murderous, racist rampage” and “domestic terrorism.” He placed flowers at the memorial near the store, met with the family of the victims and first responders, and condemned white supremacy as a poison that must be rejected.
Following the Robb Elementary School shooting in the predominantly Latin community of Uvalde, 19 students died. Biden and the First Lady visited Uvalde and met with the victims’ families.
In November 2022, Biden and the First Lady called and spoke with the owners of Club Q on Thanksgiving. During the call "reiterated support for the vibrant and strong Club Q family and commitment to fighting back against hate and gun violence," according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
On January 21, a 72-year-old Vietnamese man killed 11 people at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, CA, a predominantly Asian community, after an all-day Lunar New Year Festival. Brandon Tsay disarmed the man in the lobby. The shooter fled and was later found dead in a van from a self-inflicted gunshot. The motive was speculated to be a family dispute, but it remains unknown.
Biden later visited Monterey Park on March 14, where he met Tsay and announced an executive order to increase the number of background checks.
"All have lived lives of love, sacrifice, and service for their families, for their community," Biden said during his remarks. "They represent a bigger story. Who we are as Americans embodying the simple truth that our diversity is the strength of this nation."
Finally, if Biden can’t visit the families of shooting victims, he lies and says he did. In a 2019 campaign ad, Biden claimed that he visited and met with every one of the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.
The problem is that Connecticut State Senate candidate JT Lewis, the brother of one of the victims, says it was a lie.
"This is a lie," wrote Lewis in a tweet. "Obama came to Sandy Hook and met with every family. Joe Biden DID NOT. In fact, my family was not allowed on Air Force One because we refused to support Obama/Biden gun control efforts."
Also, I found no news reports or images that indicated Biden had accompanied Obama to visit the families of the Sandy Hook victims.
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The city of Nashville and the community of The Covenant School suffered an unquestionably tragic loss. These horrible events have a lasting traumatic effect on the people left behind to pick up the pieces. I am not going to debate the solution or the cause of these shootings. That debate is happening all over social media, the news, and in the halls of Congress.
I want to talk about the biased response in the aftermath of this tragedy.
While other tragedies affiliated with so-called marginalized communities merited phone calls, visits, and anti-hate remarks and campaigns from our administration, The Covenant School families did not. All they got was a vigil photo op visit from the First Lady, where she didn’t even speak, and ice cream jokes from the President before he made any mention of the tragedy. But he did not forget to call for an “assault weapons” ban before quickly shifting to declaring support for the medical gender transition of minors and celebrating Trans Day of Visibility.
The media’s larger concern was protecting Hale and, by proxy, they believed they were protecting the transgender people. They were all very careful to respect her pronouns and not to mention too often that the victims were Christian unless it was to say how her Christian parents did not support her in her decision to transition.
The message is clear, a white Christian community and its victims are not victims enough to merit the same response as those the media and the Biden administration deem true victims. For the media and this administration to care and call out hate, you have to have the right skin color, religion, and/or be LGBTQ.
To donate to The Covenant School and Covenant Presbyterian Church, click the button below and select “March 27 Fund”