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ATLANTA, GA - Politicians and media from the right and left predictably trumpet that their side holds The One Truth after the shooting on March 28 left six victims dead at a Nashville school. However, the actions of an individual shouldn't be used to paint an entire community or group.

“The wiser, more empathetic choice would be to slow down,” says Libertarian presidential hopeful Chase Oliver. “Breathe, calm our rhetoric, don’t let emotions take over because that’s when irrational things happen.The heated arguments will inflict further cruelty upon the very people who deserve our empathy - those who lost family and friends in the shooting at The Covenant school in Nashville.”
“Those families deserve privacy and the decency to bury their loved ones without becoming a political football,” Oliver adds.

According to the most complete data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 45,222 gun-related deaths in 2020. Breaking down those deaths, 54 percent (24,292) were suicides and 43 percent (19,384) were murders. The remaining 2020 gun deaths that year involved law enforcement (611), were unintentional (535), or had undetermined circumstances (400). Out of those deaths, 1,513 were a result of defensive gun use. A survey conducted by Statista Research Department showed that 42% of surveyed Americans reported they owned at least one gun, most with the intention of self-defense.

As an “openly gay, Christian, and staunch defender of Second Amendment rights,” Chase Oliver told The New York Sun, “The vast majority of trans people are non-violent and non-aggressive. And I would say the same thing about the vast majority of gun owners, too. Our politics, in general, are getting more aggressive and more militant, and that isn’t exclusive to trans people or people fighting for trans rights. We need to have a cultural ceasefire.”

Unlike the 2022 shooting in Uvalde, Texas—where 19 students and 2 staff died as police leaders prevented engagement despite being on school grounds—Nashville police acted immediately. Police body-camera footage showed officers quickly taking in information about the location of the shooter, methodically yet quickly going through rooms, following gunfire, and stopping the shooter.

“The shooter is dead, and that’s because the police responded very quickly to the situation,” Oliver says. “What you saw in Nashville was police rushing into danger and doing their job. As somebody who has been a constant watchdog for accountability for police, I am completely comfortable saying that those ocers went in and did what needed to be done. They did their job without any hesitation.”

Oliver launched his presidential exploratory committee after the Dec. 5 runoff election. Delegates choose the Libertarian presidential candidate at the party’s national convention on May 24-26 2024 in Washington D.C.

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