From Nashville to San Bernardino

On March 27, Audrey Hale, a woman who thought she was a man, shot her way into the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. In 14 minutes, Hale murdered Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Mike Hill, 61, William Kinney, 9, Katherine Koonce, 60, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Hallie Scruggs, the 9-year-old daughter of Covenant Presbyterian pastor Chad Scruggs. 

Mass murderers normally elicit swift condemnation, but Joe Biden failed to name or condemn the shooter. Audrey Hale was white and murder victim Mike Hill was black, but no word on whether racism could have played a role in the attack. 

Biden, who claims to be a Catholic, also failed to name a single victim of Hale’s attack, and the Delaware Democrat attended none of the funerals. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also ignored the murder victims and proclaimed, “our hearts go out to the trans community as they are under attack right now.” 

Anyone searching for a similar madness might recall the events of December 2, 2015, in San Bernardino, California. That day, county employees gathered at the Inland Regional Center for a holiday party. A National Police Foundation report explains what happened. 

Suddenly, a door swung open and a person clad in all black, with a mask shielding his or her face, stepped inside, wielding what appeared to be an automatic rifle. Without saying a word, the person, now believed to be [Syed] Farook, opened fire.

Then Tashfeen Malik followed. 

“She also wore all black and entered the room shooting. Together, the shooters fired more than 100 rounds.”  The shooters then “hastily departed, heading out to a black SUV they had parked just outside, leaving behind a chaotic scene of noise, fear, and pain.” And death. 

American-born Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, a green-card holder born in Pakistan, murdered Robert Adams, Isaac Amianos, Bennetta Betbadal, Harry Bowman, Sierra Clayborn, Juan Espinoza, Aurora Godoy, Shannon Johnson, Larry Daniel Kaufman, Damien Meins, Tin Nguyen, Nicholas Thalasinos, Yvette Velasco, and Michael Wetzel. 

Isaac Amanios, 60, immigrated from Eritrea to California in 2000 to escape violence and repression. Bennetta Betbadal, 46, fled to America with her family to “escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian Revolution.” 

California’s attorney general at the time was Kamala Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney and girlfriend of Democrat queenmaker Willie Brown. In 2010, Harris was so lightly regarded that the Sacramento Bee endorsed Republican Steve Cooley. He won easily on election night, but after three weeks of counting “provisional ballots,” Harris prevailed by less than one percentage point. 

In a December 17, 2015 statement, Harris said, “We must seek justice for those who lost their lives in the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.” How, exactly, the victims “lost their lives” the attorney general did not explain.

Harris warned of “the dangers of Islamophobic rhetoric” but failed to name Farook and Malik and offered no insight on what motivated the two Muslims to kill 14 people and wound more than 22 others. Their victims included African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics, but no word from the attorney general whether Farook and Malik could have been motivated by racism. 

Harris brought along officials from the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose Los Angeles director Hussam Ayloush said, “Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric by certain public figures has made Muslim communities an easy target for hate crimes.” Harris, Ayloush added, “exemplified leadership” by addressing “the spike in hate crimes against American Muslims and other minorities.” 

And so on. Two Muslims massacred 14 innocents, but Muslims were the real victims of hate crimes. For Harris in 2015, the real problem was “Islamophobia,” an incantation to ward off any criticism of jihadist violence. In Nashville in 2023, the problem was “transphobia,” an incantation to ward off exposure of trans violence against Christians in particular. 

As in San Bernardino, Kamala Harris failed to name or condemn the shooter, failed to name a single victim, and failed to call the mass murder a hate crime or an act of terrorism. A stepmother to husband Doug Emhoff’s two children, Harris did not attend any funerals of the Nashville murder victims. 

Harris did take the time to meet with Democrats ousted from the Tennessee legislature, and Joe Biden invited them to the White House. No relative of any Covenant School victim received a similar invitation. 

This fearful symmetry has a back story, the fundamental transformation of America promised by the composite character David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. As president, Obama ignored the threat from Islamic jihadists and targeted his domestic opposition, the people who read the Bible, value their constitutional rights, and remain skeptical of government power. The Biden Junta continues the process. 

As he made clear in his September 1 speech, Biden believes those who want America to be great pose the greatest threat to the nation. The Delaware Democrat is uncritical of trans militants out for “vengeance” against people like Evelyn Dieckhaus, Mike Hill, William Kinney, Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak, and Hallie Scruggs. 


Look for more attacks like Nashville, followed by more loathsome responses from Joe Biden, Kamala Karris, and Karine Jean-Pierre. As the White House mouthpiece said, “our hearts go out to the trans community, as they are under attack right now.” For those grieving in Nashville, and people across the country, this should be a moment of clarity. 

For all but the willfully blind, Biden and Harris are a complete bust as national leaders. On the other hand, if anybody thought they are also two of the worst people in the nation, it would be hard to blame them. 

Meanwhile, the people have other parallels to ponder. 

In San Bernardino and Nashville, the FBI failed to prevent the attack and played no role in the takedown of the murderers. San Bernardino police took down Syeed Farook and Tashfeen Malik with no loss of civilian life. 

Inside the terrorists’ SUV, police found an additional 1,879 rounds of .223 ammunition and another 484 rounds of 9 mm ammunition. Police also found a trigger apparatus to detonate the secondary explosive devices at the Regional Center. The devices intended to increase the death toll among the first responders, a terrorist calling card.

At the Covenant School on March 27, Audrey Hale fired 152 rounds from an AR-15style rifle, 9 mm Kel-Tec SUB2000 and 9 mm pistol. Nashville police officers Michael Collozo and Rex Engelbert killed Hale before she could murder more children and adults. 

The shooter left behind 20 journals, five laptops, two memoirs, five Covenant School yearbooks, seven cell phones, and other materials. This trove is the best evidence of Hale’s motive, the primary consideration in any murder case. 

At this writing, the FBI is still withholding Hale’s manifesto from the public.

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Notable Replies

  1. One day, about a year after the San Bernardino attack, a health inspector saw our “A” health rating on the wall of our restaurant. She was replacing it with a new one and she told me she was keeping the old copy as a memorial. One of our employees asked her why. It was signed by an inspector who was killed by the SB attacker – who worked for San Bernardino County EHS.

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