Highland Park Shooting Survivor Asks: ‘How Is This Still Happening?’

As a spokesman for the Nashville Police wrapped up a news conference on the mass shooting at an elementary school, an exasperated mother stepped up to the cluster of microphones and cried out: “Aren’t you guys tired of covering this?”

Ashbey Beasley said she and her young son were at the scene of another mass shooting just nine months earlier, at a Fourth of July parade in their town of Highland Park, Ill. Demonstrating how frequent such shootings have become, her family happened to be on a vacation in Tennessee visiting her sister-in-law on Monday when yet another shooting took place in their vicinity, this one claiming the lives of three children and three adults.

“How is this still happening? How are our children still dying, and why are we failing them?” she said to the reporters gathered.

“We have to do something,” she added, urging people to call their representatives. “This is going to keep happening. It’s going to be your kid and your kid and your kid and your kid next because it’s just a matter of time.”

Ms. Beasley said that since surviving the shooting in July, which left seven dead and more than 30 injured, she had been lobbying for gun safety legislation in Washington, meeting with more than 130 lawmakers.

In an interview with ABC’s Nightline that month, she described how her son, who was then 6, seemed to freeze with fear when the shots rang out and the panicked crowd began running to safety. The mother and son weren’t hurt.

“He wouldn’t run,” she said. “He cowered and screamed he didn’t want to get shot, he didn’t want to die.”

The look on his face was “indescribable,” she recounted. “It was such a sheer primal sense of terror.”

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