“Aren’t you guys tired of covering this?”
This was the question that gun control activist and Highland Park shooting survivor Ashbey Beasley posed to reporters in the aftermath of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville on March 27, interrupting a live press conference that aired on Fox News, of all places.
I know I’m tired of covering it.
In the clip, which has since gone viral, Beasley steps in front of reporters and demands, “Aren’t you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings? I’m from Highland Park…” The audio briefly cuts away from the mother and activist, and when it returns, Beasley is saying how she happens to be in Nashville for a family vacation with her son to visit her sister-in-law. “I have been lobbying in DC since we survived a mass shooting in July,” she continues, referring to the Highland Park, Illinois, mass shooting during which seven people were killed at a Fourth of July parade. “I have met with over 130 lawmakers. How is this still happening? How are our children still dying and why are we failing them?”
It was a tragic twist of irony that brought Beasley to this press conference in the first place. She’d been on her way to lunch with friend Shaundelle Brooks, a fellow mother and advocate whose son was killed in a Waffle House mass shooting in 2018, when Brooks called her in a panic, she tells Glamour. Brooks had gotten a call from her surviving son that his high school, just blocks from The Covenant School, was on lockdown. Beasley offered to come and meet her, but, unable to enter the high school, the two made their way to the scene of Monday’s shooting, which is where Beasley encountered the news conference. “I think I just got to a point where I was done,” Beasley tells me over the phone on Tuesday evening. “I'm just like, I'm done. I feel like we aren't having the right conversations; we're not having conversations at all. And I just was like, I'm going to start this conversation.”
In 2023 alone, there have been 130 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which have killed 193 people. Three of these were school shootings. Referencing a recent study analyzing causes of death among minors, Beasley continued in her press-conference-coup, “Gun violence is the number one killer of children and teens. It has overtaken cars.” She added, “Assault weapons are contributing to the border crisis and fentanyl. We are arming cartels with our guns and our loose gun laws. And these shootings—these mass shootings will continue to happen until our lawmakers step up and pass gun safety legislation. I’m pretty sure this was an unsecured weapon that this teenager got ahold of. We can’t even pass gun safety, like safe storage laws, in this country! To protect kids from getting ahold of weapons that they shoot each other with.”