Moms of murdered kids brainstorm proposals for legislators before special session

“When it comes to the special session, how do I feel?” one mother questioned. “Terrified.”
“When it comes to the special session, how do I feel?” one mother questioned. “Terrified.”
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 11:17 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - In less than a week, crowds and legislators will take to the Capitol for a special session on firearms and public safety. This was called by Governor Lee after the Covenant School shooting.

Thursday, a group of moms met to speak with each other about what they hope to accomplish in this session after they lost their children to murder.

In a secured black box is a solution to a problem leader of Mothers Over Murder, Clemmie Greenlee, who has been trying to lock up for decades. So far, she’s seen three teenagers put their firearms in the box, which sits at the front of the sanctuary at Rock United Methodist Church.

It’s a program with Metro Nashville Police to get guns off the streets and an answer to the violence Greenlee said she won’t see from lawmakers next week.

“When it comes to the special session, how do I feel?” she questioned. “Terrified.”

That’s why, inside a purple room inside the church, Greenlee called an emergency meeting with moms and dads who lost a child to violence.

“We are coming to see what proposal we can write up,” she said. “What speech we can make to take to the Capitol ourselves and talk.”

“The special session is a dire need,” Tammy Barrett, a mother, said.

Her son, Dallas Barrett, lost his life to asphyxia after he was restrained to the ground by security guards at a Broadway bar two years ago.

He didn’t die from a firearm, but the kids of Tammy Barrett’s fellow moms and dads in the rooms she sat in did.

“There is no reason an 18-year-old kid needs an assault rifle, period,” she said. “We’ve got to get something that can get killers off of the street – point blank.”

Greenlee said it’s not going to take shatterproof glass, mental health initiatives, or firearm locks to save lives. It takes talking with people like her group who know what burying a child feels like.

“We are getting shot out here,” she said. “We are getting shot at Kroger’s. We are getting shot at Walmart. We are getting shot everywhere. So, just because we had a school shooting that you think a protective seal of plastic around a window – that is not a solution.”

The special session starts Monday at 4 p.m. at the State Capitol.