White House says ‘trans community’ is ‘under attack’ after Nashville shooting

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that the “trans community” in America is “under attack,” just days after a transgender former student opened fire in a Nashville school and killed six people. “One of the things that we saw during the midterm elections is that people don’t want their freedoms to be taken. They want us to fight for their freedoms,” Jean-Pierre said to reporters as she answered questions from the briefing room. “It is shameful, it is disturbing, and our hearts go out to the trans community as they are under attack right now.” Jean-Pierre’s comments came when she was asked for the White House’s message to states across the country who are moving to take action against certain care for transgender minors, specifically the Kentucky legislature’s vote on Wednesday to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of legislation that prohibits transgender procedures for minors as well as restricts bathrooms based on biological sex. “We support peaceful protests. We think it’s important for Americans and people just across the country to make their voices heard – just as long as it’s peaceful,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been very clear about these anti-LGBTQ bills we’re seeing in state legislatures across the country, particularly these anti-trans bills as they attack trans kids, as they attack trans parents. It is shameful and it is unacceptable.” DEMOCRAT REP ERIC SWALWELL SAYS REPUBLICANS WHO OPPOSE GUN BANS ARE ‘SIDING WITH THE KILLERS’ “As you mentioned, tomorrow is trans visibility day,” she added. “On a day we should be lifting up our trans kids, our trans youth, and making sure they feel seen, we’re seeing more and more of these hateful, hateful bills. That’s what Republicans want to spend their time on.” During the briefing, Jean-Pierre also reaffirmed President Joe Biden’s commitment to support transgender minors and their endeavors in America. “This is a president who has said many times before he has their backs, he will continue to have their backs and he will continue to fight for them,” she said. “His record shows that.” Jean-Pierre’s comments on the state of transgender youth in America come after three children and three employees were shot and killed by Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old transgender former student, on Monday at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. REX ENGELBERT AND MICHAEL COLLAZO: WHO ARE THE NASHVILLE OFFICERS WHO TOOK DOWN THE COVENANT SCHOOL SHOOTER? Head of School Katherine Koonce, 60, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and custodian Mike Hill, also 61, were killed in the gunfire. Three 9-year-old students were also killed: Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney. Hale shot through a locked glass door and entered the school armed with two rifles and a handgun around 10:13 a.m. on Monday. Officer Rex Engelbert, 27, arrived soon after the shooting began and immediately starting clearing classrooms with other officers in search of the shooter. When Hale started firing at other responding officers from the second floor, Engelbert ran upstairs with Officer Michael Collazo, 31, and confronted Hale, who was shot and killed. Hale had legally purchased seven firearms from five different gun stores in the Nashville area and hid them from her family. Hale was under a doctor’s care for an unspecified emotional disorder at the time of the shooting and Hale’s parents didn’t believe the perpetrator should own weapons, police said. A search of Hale’s vehicle and home turned up writings and hand-drawn diagrams of the school that indicated the attack was “calculated and planned,” according to police. Fox News’ Jon Brown, Paul Best and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
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