HALESTORM's Lzzy Hale has expressed her frustration over laws and lack of access to basic mental health care contributing to gun violence in the U.S.
Hale made her comments less than a week after a shooter opened fire at the Covenant School, a Presbyterian school in Lzzy's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, killing three 9-year-olds and three adults.
On Saturday (April 1),Hale took to her Instagram to write: "A funeral was held today for 9-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus, one of three children and three adults killed in Monday's shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville.
"I was on the other side of the pond in London when I heard about this tragedy taking place.
"My heart breaks for the families of those who were so suddenly and needlessly taken from us right here is my hometown of Nashville.
"I grew up in and out of private Christians schools and I'm so grateful for the life lessons I culled from that upbringing," Lzzy continued. "So, watching the police storm through the elementary hallways decorated with joyous Crayola art pieces on the very walls that just a few hours before were supposed to be a safe space for these little ones…
"And please let me raise my horns to the police officers that did everything in their power and more! True super heroes !
"I feel helpless and I'm so worn down from the sheer number of these attacks. There have been more than 130 mass shootings across the USA this year alone, and it's only April!
"This should not be the way our children should live," Hale added. "We should not have to be installing fold out barricades in our classrooms. Or fear going to a concert, or public event.
"This is a result of our young people for so many years NOT having easy access to proper mental health guidance and education, AND equally of them having far TOO EASY access to assault weapons.
"Our fellow humans are hurting, by not giving them / banning the options and tools they need to heal, you are leaving them with all you have offered…violence.
"This is preventable."
According to CNN, the number of U.S. deaths from gun violence in 2019 was about 4 per 100,000 people. That's 18 times the average rate in other developed countries. Multiple studies show access to guns contributes to higher firearm-related homicide rates.
The United States saw nearly 700 mass shootings in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Between 1966 and 2019, 77% of all mass shooters in the U.S. used weapons they had obtained through legal purchases, according to a survey compiled by the National Institute of Justice.
Various studies have shown that more gun control will result in fewer gun deaths. After a mass shooting that killed 35 people in 1996, Australia imposed strict gun ownership measures and outright bans on semi-automatic and automatic weapons. Since the laws were passed, there has been only one mass shooting, a case in which a grandfather killed family members and then himself.
Gun laws are far stricter in other countries. In Germany, anyone under the age of 25 who wants to buy a gun needs to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, while In Japan, owning a handgun is illegal for private citizens.
The majority of Americans support stricter gun laws, especially in the aftermath of deadly school shootings.