Mom Who Survived Mass Shooting 8 Months Ago Asks “How Are Our Children Still Dying?

Ashbey Beasley was on a family vacation in Nashville when a lone shooter killed six people, including three children, at an elementary school. She and her son survived a different mass shooting in Illinois last July.

On March 27, Ashbey Beasley was in Nashville, Tennessee visiting family when she learned that a lone shooter had entered a private Christian elementary school and killed six people, including three children. After surviving a different mass shooting with her son less than a year ago in Highland Park, Illinois, Beasley decided to speak up.

As the cameras were rolling, the Illinois mom stepped up to a mic and called out the horrific cycle of gun violence that continues in America. “Aren’t you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?” Beasley asked journalists after a news conference with the Metro Nashville Police. “I’m from Highland Park, Illinois. My son and I survived a mass shooting over the summer. I am in Tennessee on a family vacation, with my son, visiting my sister-in-law. I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July. I have met with over 130 lawmakers.” A shooter opened fire during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, killing seven people and injuring dozens more. Now nearly nine months later, a shooter walked into Covenant School in Nashville and killed six more people. Three more children.

“How is this still happening?” Beasley continued. “How are our children still dying and why are we failing them? Gun violence is the number one killer of children and teens. It has overtaken cars.” Indeed, gun violence became the number one cause of death for children in America last July, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

President Barack Obama was one of many people who shared video footage of Beasley’s passionate plea. “We are failing our children,” Obama tweeted Monday. “Guns are now the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. Michelle and I mourn with the students and families of the Covenant School today.”

After taking over a live broadcast, Beasley spoke to CNN about the distressing state of gun safety in America, a country where a person can “survive a mass shooting and then go on holiday and find themselves near another mass shooting. Only in America does this happen where we keep seeing this again and again and again.”

Another grim reality came to the surface when a gunman killed several students at Michigan State University in February — many children have now lived through their second school shooting.

“Gun violence is an epidemic, and it needs to be resolved,” Beasley told CNN. “It needs to be addressed.”

On Monday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee offered his prayers for the “school, congregation, and Nashville community” in the wake of the shooting, not long after signing legislation loosening gun safety regulations by allowing adults in Tennessee to carry a handgun without a permit. Last June, weeks after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, he said his administration “does not support restricting firearms or strengthening gun control laws in response to recent mass shootings,” the AP reported at the time.

As of March 28, there have already been 130 mass shootings in America in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This month alone there have been 38 mass shootings with 57 people killed.