NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake could have never predicted the cards he’s been dealt the last several weeks.
Following the mass shooting at The Covenant School and repeated gun violence, Drake is calling for change in his home state of Tennessee.
“It has been an unbelievable last few weeks, starting even before Covenant, but after Covenant and the days after and all the pressures of people wanting different demands, but I’m holding up,” Drake told News 2.
Drake said as of this weekend, Metro has seen 42 homicides, and the shootings he is seeing are becoming more and more concerning.
“What are the top crimes you’re worried about? What keeps you up at night?” News 2’s Nikki McGee asked Drake.
“So what keeps me up at night is shootings. Gun violence is just unbelievable; it’s almost every night there’s a shooting,” Drake said. “It’s just tragic that people can’t resolve conflict without resorting to gun violence. The age groups of these offenders are getting younger and younger, 11 and 12 years old that are committing gun violence.”
Even before the Covenant School shooting, Drake had concerns about gun violence. When speaking to News 2, Drake didn’t shy away from what he believes needs to be done to reduce these crimes.
“People leaving guns in cars and seemingly no one wants to have accountability; no one wants to put mechanisms in place to prevent kids from getting guns, preventing people from getting guns who shouldn’t have them, and then at least putting something together for conflict resolution,” Drake said.
The chief added he would also like to see measures implemented that flag people with mental health issues during the gun purchasing process. Drake said he wasn’t against gun ownership, but he does think the process has become too relaxed in Tennessee.
“I’m not anti-gun, but buying a gun is too easy. It needs to be a little bit harder for people and it shouldn’t be you answer a few questions and you take it home. We need to step it up in Tennessee, I think,” Drake said.