Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The mountains are calling, and I must go ...

In a letter to his sister Sarah in September 1873, John Muir (Scottish-American environmentalist, naturalist, author and more, 1838-1914) was recalling his longest and hardest trip into the mountains, but still felt determined to be off again, working in the mountains... He would wake up at 4:30 am and start writing ... he told her "The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can..." I have this quotation painted on a piece of wood in my kitchen (that I bought in Dahlonega, a southern Appalachian mountain village in Georgia.)
As for me, I'm not called to the mountains for work, but to lift my spirits and improve my outlook on life. In a 2013 post "Times goes by in a park..." I explained that since childhood I have lived near mountains or hills. High places have been a sort of refuge for me from the distress of the world. In time of sadness, such as those painful last weeks in Nashville after the school shootings in my neighborhood, I crave going to the mountains. On the first anniversary of the month my husband died I drove to the North Carolina and the North Georgia mountains to find solace in nature (see my post of Oct. 2019 "Lake Chatuge in the N GA Mountains." (I hope I can convey the feelings because as I get older I sometime search for words and they usually come back in French first (my native language) then I have to translate them into English!) A week or so ago, I drove to my house in Georgia then a couple of days later drove on to the North GA Mountains, to Hiawassee (population as of 2022: 961.) I stayed at a lodge on a hill overlooking Lake Chatuge. Fortunately, there was a lovely view of the lake and mountains from my little balcony.
A mile from this lodge is the Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens. The weekend before I arrived in Hiawassee was the start of their "Rhododendron Festival" which lasts five weekends from April 14 through May 14, 2023, with craft vendors, live music, plant sale, etc. The gardens are open all year long. From May through October the gardens also host moonlight concerts. Peak rhododendron viewing is usually from mid April through May.
I went there on Tuesday April 18 which was a bit early for this season; because of the unusual hard freeze this past winter most of the rhododendrons were not blooming yet, although some different varieties were in pots for sale (click on collage to enlarge and read panels.)
Fred R. Hamilton, Sr. (1914-1996) and his wife Hazel began growing rhododendrons in their Atlanta garden in 1952. There they collected native rhododendrons and azaleas. They also had a mountain getaway on the slopes of Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia, where they developed hybrids and where, later, they relocated their 1000+ plants. In 1981 they donated them to Towns County in what is now known as the Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens. This 33 acre enchanting garden is located atop the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds campus. It contains more than 1,500 rhododendrons (400 varieties) as well as native azaleas, tulip magnolias, dogwoods, redbuds, hydrangeas, and wildflowers native to the Appalachian Mountains like Solomon's seal, wild ginger, lady slippers, trout lily, and trillium. In addition in 2018, as part of the Daffodil Project, and international campaign to plant 1.5 million daffodils worldwide as a tribute to the children lost in the Holocaust, 600 daffodil bulbs were added to the garden.
There were few visitors around the day I stopped by the gardens. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. Even if most of the rhododendrons were not in bloom many of the azalea bushes were. Azaleas, with tubular and funnel shape flowers, are in the genus rhododendron; they are deciduous and lose their leaves in the fall. Rhododendrons, with bell shaped flowers, are evergreen and keep their leaves in winter. Fred Hamilton developed the yellow azalea, the only domestic yellow azalea in existence, which he named after his wife, Hazel (Rhododendron flammeum 'Hazel Hamilton'.)
I did not walk the whole 2 miles of mulched woodland trails through the property as some of the walking paths were winding down to the lake shore and were rather steep. There were many benches scattered along the way. I just traded in my old Nikon camera for a newer model and was testing it. Although to make sure, I also carried my Canon and small Sony (and then I even took photos with my cell phone, because why not.)
One of the most spectacular shrubs there was the "flame" azalea. It is native of the Appalachian Mountains. Mountain people call it also butterfly azalea or wild honeysuckle. The striking flowers certainly lighten the woodland like little fires.
There were small wood bridges along the trails.
I walked very slowly because I kept stopping to take closeups of the flowers.
As I made my way around the pine bark trail some bursting soft pink azalea shrubs lead me to the Bonnie Day arbor. I enjoyed resting on a bench for a little while.
Then I took the 'Cut Across Trail' to have a look at the Claude Brooks waterwheel. First a profusion of blooming hot pink rhododendrons greeted me at the Claudia Brooks overlook.
I took more closeups of some of the plants for sale next to the garden shop.
These stunning gardens are very peaceful and tranquil; an enchanting spot to relax and escape from it all. The Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens was designated a state botanical garden by the Georgia Legislature in 2003. It boasts the largest collection of rhododendron in the Southeast. Then it was time to return to the lodge.
A needed rest on my little balcony was welcome. Then as the evening grew I soaked in the beauty of the sky changing color over the lake.
"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls." -John Muir, 1938.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Addendum to Nashville grieving and gun violence

This addendum was started several days ago. Then I stopped writing it thinking that most people would not be interested in reading it. Many bloggers prefer to talk about family, food, gardening, travel or other more palatable subjects than gun violence. I believe that if you are part of society, enjoying its pleasures and benefits is fine but remaining silent during its trials is almost being complicit. So I decided to finish writing it - if only one person in Tennessee changes their mind about voting for an extreme right-wing politician, then it is worth it.
Here is a continuation of my post of Thursday, April 6, 2023, Nashville grieving,explaining the shooting in Nashville at the Covenant School, a local elementary school. As I mentioned in that post I was trying to provide clear explanations to my family and readers from overseas in reply to their requests. Seen from overseas the US gun laws make no sense. They cannot understand why this country is unable to control gun violence. Please read my last post first then come back here to read the rest of the story... On Thursday March 30, 2023, three days after the shooting, a crowd entered the halls of the Tennessee Capitol where the lawmakers were gathered for a floor session. The Tennessee State Capitol was built on a hill in Nashville with the help of convicts and enslaved people and finished in 1859. See vintage postcards below. The picture on the right was the TN State Library until 1953 when it was moved.
The crowd of children, teenagers and parents came to demand action on gun safety and kept chanting "Shame on you" and "Children are dead and you don't care." Several lawmakers placed headphones on their ears so they would not hear, then microphones were turned off in the public areas to block out the chants and a 5-minute recess was called. During the recess, TN State Democratic Representatives Justin Jones of Nashville, joined Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, and Justin Pearson of Memphis, to the podium with a megaphone, to be heard and to conduct the "Gun control now!" chant with the people in the balcony where kids and adusts (even adults with babies) were chanting.
The rest of the lawmakers exited the chamber for about 1/2 hour and when they returned the Speaker of the House, Republican Cameron Sexton, said that this was "not acceptable behavior" and action would be taken in the next few days against the three Democrat representatives. On Monday April 3, 2023, the TN Republican lawmakers filed a resolution to expel those three, now nicknamed the Tennessee Three (TN 3.) They had already been removed from their committees and had their State Capitol identity badges deactivated. Speaker Sexton said they had broken "several rules of decorum and procedure on the House Floor." Below photo of floor of the TN State Legislature, courtesy ABC.
Speaker Sexton accused Rep. Justin Pearson of having given a "temper tantrum" like a spoiled kid wanting attention. Later he added: "What they did today was at least equivalent, maybe worse, depending on how you look at it, of doing an insurrection in the Capitol." Really? Worse than the insurrection on the Washington Capitol on January 6, when a horde armed with weapons stormed the Capitol looking to kill the US Speaker of the House, to hang the Vice-President, killing and injuring Capitol Police, and urinating and thrashing the building? Really? The Tennessee Three's violation of the rules of decorum was worse that this insurrection? Please... Dictionary definition of decorum "Decorums - the conventions or requirements of polite behavior." On Thursday April 6, 2023, the TN 3 were given twenty minutes each to speak and to answer questions. Then the Tennessee House voted to expel the two Justins (both 28 years old) but spared Gloria Johnson (aged 60) by one vote only. Photo below, courtesy WBIR.
By Thursday April 6th the US media as well as the international press were aware of the expulsion proceedings and were watching. I watched it also on television. The TN 3 gave amazing speeches with courage and eloquence. But to no avail. No surprise here with the Republicans having a supermajority in the TN House of Representatives. The political makeup of the 113th General Assembly is 75 Republicans, 23 Democrats and 1 vacancy. Tennessee is one of the reddest states in the union with only two blue counties: Memphis in Shelby County and Nashville in Davidson County. See map below of TN counties showing the 2022 gubernatorial election results, courtesy Wikimedia. I just read that Tennessee is the least democratic of the 50 United States.
It was noted how the Justin Jones and Justin Pearson (by then named the two Justins) were questioned in a demeaning and condescending way compared to Ms. Gloria Johnson. It sounded like "you should know your place and not have an uppitity behavior." When the expulsion was announced the crowd was screaming "shame!" Some wondered if it had not been "payback" for Justin Jones of Nashville who was leading a movement in 2019 to remove a bust of Confederate cavalry General Nathan Bedford Forrest, first Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and trader of enslaved people. Finally in 2021 the bust was removed from its prominent place in the State Capitol. (Photo courtesy Tennessee Lookout.)
In the state of Tennessee expulsion or banishment from the Chamber has been used just several times since the Civil War. In 1866, six lawmakers were ousted for trying to prevent citizenship to formerly enslaved people as required by the 14th Amendment; in 1980 a member was convicted of taking a bribe to kill a bill; in 2016 a member was voted out after 22 women accused him of sexual misconduct and in 2022 a member was expelled after being convicted of using Federal Grant money on wedding expenses. These took a long time to investigate and were punishment for serious misconduct, not just for "violating rules of decorum." Speaking out of turn should be punished by censure, maybe, or a reprimand, but not expulsion of duly elected lawmakers who were voicing the requests of their constituents for reasonable legislation to reduce the killing of innocent children in schools. I read reports that the US public following the proceedings on television was outraged.
On Friday April 8, 2023, Vice-President Kamala Harris made an unscheduled and surprise trip to Nashville to meet with the Tennessee Three. She came to Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville, TN (3 miles from my house.) Civil Rights icon, John Lewis (1940-2020) was a graduate student with a degree in religion and philosophy from Fisk University. (You may remember that in September 2013, after meeting John Lewis in Decatur, GA., at a book signing I wrote a post "John Lewis and Richard Blanco at the Decatur Book Festival.") John Lewis was a Democratic US Representative for Atlanta, GA, for many years. He had organized the "March on Washington" with Martin Luther King, Jr. in August 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN, on April 4, 1968.
After Lewis died in 2020 officials of the Minority Caucus of Metropolitan Nashville started proceedings to permanently changed Fifth Avenue in Nashville to "Rep. John Lewis Way." This gained public support and in July 2021 it was made official. However, in January 2023, a TN Republican representative sponsored a bill to rename this street into "President Donald Trump Boulevard" after this representative had also suggested lynching and hanging by tree as an alternative for execution of inmates on death row.
Vice-President Kamala Harris met with the three expelled democrats and delivered an impassioned speech (I watched it on television; even my cat seemed interested.) Later than evening President Jo Biden held a conferance call with the TN 3 and thanked them for "their leadership in seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for our democratic values." He invited them to the White House at a later date. (Photo credit @POTUS.)
Those junior Tennessee lawmakers were only known in the three city districts they represented and would have stayed unknown to the rest of the state (and the country.) But now they have been introduced on the national stage. Their expulsion backfired and made them known nationally, and internationally. Parts of Rep. Justin Pearson's speech before his expulsion are shown on YouTube (I show one below.) One extract shown on Twitter has been viewed, so far, by 9.5 milllion people. Both Justins have been interviewed on national television. On Monday, April 10, 2023, the Nashville Metro Council unanimously voted to reinstate Rep. Justin Jones as a representative (Memphis advised they would do so for Rep. Pearson on Wednesday April 12.) I watched on local news as Jones walked back into the House of Representative that evening. Will there be changes in Tennessee gun laws? Maybe, but the state is overwhelmingly Republican apart from a couple of large cities. Tennessee used to be politically moderate compared to other Southern states. In 2000 this started to change with the advent of extreme right propaganda TV networks and radio statons. The poor rural counties in Tennessee listen mostly to Fox News, launched in 1990. It was started by right-wing Republicans to intentionally air misrepresentation in order to exploit those who have been identified as easily manipulated. They pander to their implicit bias as well as sociopolitical and economic fears. In those counties health and education are below average. Many people working one or two jobs at minimum wage believe all the conspiracies and disinformation thrown at them and vote Republican. Photos below of Jones returning to the House Chamber, and meeting Joan Baez at the Nashville airport when coincidentally booked on same flight.
As I wrote in my first paragraph last Saturday April 8th, I had decided to stop writing this post and to return to Atlanta the next day. Over the weekend I thought better of it, so I stayed. Before I could finish writing it yesterday, Monday 10 April, there was another mass shooting. This time in Louisville, Kentucky, a city about 2 1/2 hour drive north from my home in Nashville (Atlanta is about 5 hour drive south.) A 25-year old portfolio banker killed 5 of his colleagues and wounded 8 others at Old National Bank, a regional bank in downtown Louisville. He used an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, an assault weapon that was just used in the Nashville shooting. As Vice-President Harris said in her speech at Fisk Universithy last Friday, "Assault weapons ...are weapons of war,"..."These are weapons that are designed to kill a lot of people quickly. They have no place on the streets of a civil society." Kentucky is a southern state like Tennessee with a Republican majority unwilling to place any restriction on these weapons. The Louisville mass shooting is the 146th since the beginning of 2023 and the 15th since April 1st. This violence is uniquely found in the United States. You can be shot anywhere here, at school, a grocery store, a dance hall, in a farm, movie theater, beauty parlor, etc. and now a bank. (Photo of another flower memorial, courtesy KLKY.)
All this is quite sad and generates a pessimistic attitude. There is hope though, as Generation Z (10 to 24 years old) does not get their news just from national or local outlets but via digital sources. They can find the facts and verify them on the Internet and avoid biased networks. Most of them say they never or rarely trust outlets such as Fox News and conservative Sinclair Broacasting Group that owns a majority of local news stations and build "local reports" that are untrue and air them to folks that don't realize they're being subjected to Sinclair's right-wing agenda. Generation Z is more motivated and not afraid to demonstrate, as seen in Nashville in the last few days. I'll end this with a quotation from a French revolutionary stateman, Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) followed by a peaceful photo of spring in Jimmy Carter Presidential Library gardens in Atlanta, GA.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Nashville grieving

This is not the post I was planning to write but a senseless tragedy took place in my neighborhood on Monday March 27, 2023, and the Nashville community is grieving. In addition, family and friends from overseas who translate and read my posts (even if they do not comment) asked me to tell them what happened and explain the gun violence issues in the United States. I'll try to do this. Last Thursday, March 30, 2023, I walked to the Nashville Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and took photos of the blooming tulips and spring flowers. Viewing scenes of nature does help cope with sorrow. I'll include some below.
After attending the Don Quixote ballet in Atlanta I returned to Nashville soon after. I then wrote the post Don Quixote at the Atlanta Ballet on March 25, 2023. I was supposed to spend March 26, my birthday, with my younger daughter and family but my daughter and 9 years old granddaughter had caught a bad cold and we decided to celebrate at a later date. Instead I had lunch at an Uzbek restaurant with my neighbor who came from Kashmir not long ago to study at Vanderbilt U for his Ph.D.
On Monday March 27, 2023, at about 10:15 am I heard numerous police cars, ambulances and fire truck sirens as well as helicopters above. I thought there had been a bad traffic accident nearby. Before going grocery shopping at the Whole Foods in Green Hills, which is about 2 miles from my home, I quickly checked online to see if the traffic had cleared up. That is when I found out about the shootings at the Covenant School, a private Christian school, which is less than a mile from that grocery store. I stayed home and watched the news the rest of the day.
A 28-year old woman carrying two assault type weapons as well as a handgun had shot out a glass door to enter the Covenant School. The school was locked down and the hallways deserted. The Nashville Police received the 911 active shooter call at 10:13 am, arrived about 8 minutes later at the scene. The shooter was on the second floor, was engaged by 2 policemen and taken down. She had killed three 9-years old children and three adults. The killer had fired 152 rounds of ammunition during the attack. She had legally purchased seven firearms from five local stores said the Chief of Police, and used three of those during the assault (an AR-15, a Kel-Tec SUB 2000, and a handgun.) She was a former student of the Covenant School. No motive as yet has been found for the shooting.
The local TV news coverage was continuous for the next couple of days. I kept watching. I think the whole city was numb with emotion and grief. Members of the community started to lay flowers, stuffed animals and balloons at the gate of the school as a makeshift memorial. First Lady Jill Biden visited the memorial on Wednesday 29 March and laid some flowers. Later that day she attended the citywide vigil at the Nashville Public Square Park. She was joined by hundreds of people clutching white candles in front of the Metro Nashville Courthouse. Several people addressed the crowd including Mayor Jim Cooper who said "The Leading cause of kids' death now is guns and gunfire and that is unacceptable." Being "Music City" several Nashville performers came and sang including Sheryl Crow, Margo Price and Old Crow Medicine Show singer Ketch Secor. Ketch, accompanied by his young son on the harmonica, sang with the crowd "Will the Circle be Unbroken." Then a small group of people dressed in black gathered for a "mourner's walk."
Thursday morning, March 30, 2023, was a bright and sunny day. I drove to Whole Foods as I was out of groceries since I had left Georgia and also to buy some flowers. I then drove the approx. 1/2 mile to the Covenant School and placed my red flowers by the gate on the memorial. The school colors are red and black. A few people were assembled there, some from out of state (I talked with a lady from Michigan,) some had brought comfort dogs. (Click to enlarge.) Then on my way later to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens I saw many red and black ribbons of support on people's mail boxes in honor of the victims (as shown in my header photo.)
Now I'll try to explain the US gun violence to my family and friends from abroad. It is not easy, and since I was born and brought up in Paris, France, until adulthood, the French culture is more natural to me even though I have been living here for decades, but I have studied US history. It seems to me that violence has been defining American culture; it's almost an obsession. It started with the violent appropriation of Native lands by white settlers, then guns and violence were used to control and terrorize enslaved people. As soon as a politician displeases someone, he/she receives death threats. (In addition, military conflicts make 93% of US history.) The gun is the ultimate expression of "rugged individualism." Kids' cartoons and video games show aggression as well as professional football and hockey. Generations have been watching violent cop shows and westerns on television screens and in theatres. The Hollywood formula to attract audiences to their films is to show them with intense violence with plenty of guns, body destruction and brutal deaths. Movies have perpetuated the myth of the old west and conquest with the brutal outlaw, the good cowboy on horseback, the brave sheriff, the savage Indian, the vicious villain who gets to be gunned down at the end.
The US has 57 times as many shootings as the other six G7 countries combined. There are about 120.5 firearms per 100 persons in the US; it is the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. As quoted by Zippia, in 2022 16.4 million firearms were sold across the US which contributed $51.3 billion to the economy (45% of American households own at least one firearm.) Conservatives say that mental health is the culprit, but there are mental health problems in other countries and they do not have the rate of gun deaths as in this country. Below are the statistics as of April 1, 2023, since the beginning of the year, courtesy the Gun and Violence Archives.
For my family and friends who might not know - the USA has two major political parties, and a minor one, the Independent: the Democrats are considered liberal, but in Europe would be central right and the Republicans, considered conservatives, but along the years have turned sharply to the right and are now more like Orban's Hungarian authoritarian party. Many moderate Republicans of yore are now switching to the Independent party. States with a Democratic majority are called Blue and those with a majority Republican are called Red. Most Southern States are Red including Tennessee. There are Democrats in Tennessee (40%) but the ultra right Republican majority has gerrymandered (divided) voting districts so as to give an unfair election advantage to their party. For example, last year the TN Republican supermajority redrew Nashville's voting district ("blue" for nearly 150 years) into three districts extending into conservative rural areas so that Democrats, even if they all vote, would not be successful. Current Democrat mayor John Cooper has decided not to seek re-election as he knows he will be unable to compete and have a fair chance. (In addition there is a low voter turnout in TN which is ranked 49th out of the 50 states.) This is the way gun laws are passed by the Republican conservatives who favor gun ownership. Map below showing 2020 US election results, courtesy Shutterstock.
Blue states are trying to pass laws aimed at curbing mass shootings. Weapon manufacturers with headquarters in those state are moving to gun friendly Red states. TN Governor Lee has overseen the loosening of gun laws (with resulting increase in gun deaths) in Tennessee and offered tax incentives to gun manufacturers to move to our state. In 2021 Governor Lee signed a new law that enables residents 21 years and over to carry handguns permit-free without going through training or a background check. He proudly signed this law at the Baretta factory (as shown below) newly moved from the state of Maryland (blue) to Gallatin, TN (although there was much opposition from Tennesseans.) Beretta makes massive long arms and received several million dollars in tax incentives to move to Tennessee. Another handgun accessory, parts manufacturer and distributor, GSGlockstore (the world's #1 source for Glock parts and accessories,) moved from California (blue) to Nashville, TN. Mark Smith, President and CEO of gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson said "We would like to specially thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the 2nd Amendment" as they decided to move in 2023 to Maryville, a town close to Knoxville, TN, from Massachusetts (a blue state) their headquarters since incorporation in 1852, as well as moving their facility in Connecticut (blue state) to Maryville. Tennessee gave Smith and Wesson a 9 million development land grant, a $1 per year lease and 60% tax break for 7 years. (Photos courtesy News Channel 5.)
The National Rifle Association (NRA) was founded in 1871 as a recreational group. In 1977 it formed its Political Action Committee (PAC) to channel funds to influence government policy against gun-control laws. It supports legislation to expand "open-carry" laws and opposes any restriction to gun ownership. Their lobbying group provides millions to Republican legislators. That is why, red states like Tennessee, refuse to pass any sensible gun laws. When TN Gov. Lee was asked about the Nashville school shooting his answer was to pray. Later he announced proposed actions to provide safety to schools including "$140 million to establish a School Resource Officer (SRO) grant fund to place a trained, armed security guard at every public school." (In fact turning schools into fortresses) but without mentioning any new gun safety legislation. The state will have to buy more guns to arm a guard in every public school in the state, thus profiting the gun manufacturers. Tennessee receives too much funding from the NRA and gun manufacturer lobbyists as it is. I hope this explain a little bit why it is so difficult to pass gun control legislation in Tennessee and also in the United States. Changes are not forthcoming unfortunately.
"Many of us who participate in outdoor sports are dismayed by some of the more extreme policies of the NRA and by the timidity of public officials who yield to their unreasonable demands. Heavily influenced and supported by the firearms industry, its primary client, the NRA has been able to mislead many gullible people into believing that all weapons are going to be taken away from us, and that homeowners will be deprived of the right to protect ourselves and our families. There are no real threats to our "right to bear arms," as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution." Jimmy Carter in 2022, US President, born October 1, 1924.
An Ipsos 2022 poll shows that 70% of Americans think enacting new gun control laws should take precedence over protecting ownership rights. I have always wondered why Americans don't protest more. There are pockets of protests such as for gay rights or after another police shooting, but the main population does not protest much. They support the First Amendment's "the right of assembly, and the right to petition Government for a redress of grievances." In reality, they hardly use this right, at least nowadays. In Israel last month about 450,000 were in the streets (the same percentage by population number would place about 15 million people in the US streets.) When Germany announced job cuts worldwide, 15,000 German workers demonstrated at the GM headquarters in Germany. In the US, a few workers at the GM plant did some small "sit-in" but that's about it. I won't even mention France's many demonstrations over the years. Is it because American workers are afraid? Or apathetic? Or not interested in the common good? Or just thinking of no.1 only? I don't know. But I have hope that the newer generation, Generation Z as it is called, is more involved in their future and care about social issues and injustice. (Photos courtesy Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle and Wall Street Journal.)
I'm optimistic because more than 7,000 high school kids from Nashville area schools as well as students from Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities walked out of their classes last Monday, April 3, 2023. They printed and distributed a flyer asking kids to join their march to the Nashville Capitol.
At 10:13 am, the same time when Metro Police received the active shooter call the week before, they sat for a moment of silence. Then they kept carrying signs and chanting demanding lawmakers pass gun safety legislation. Then hundreds of them, including parents with their young children, moved into the building on Monday evening before floor sessions.
"...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Senator Edward "Ted" M. Kennedy (1932-2009.)
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