IN PHOTOS: Demonstrators create human chain from VUMC to State Capitol for gun reform

Thousands of people linked arms to show their support for gun reform after the Covenant School shooting.


Duaa Faquih

Woman wearing a “Moms Demand Action” shirt links arms with two others in support of common sense gun legislation, as photographed on April 18, 2023. (Hustler Staff/Duaa Faquih)

Tasfia Alam and Duaa Faquih

In response to the recent shooting at The Covenant School, Voices for a Safer Tennessee held a “Linking Arms for Change” event on April 18. Thousands of community members created a three-mile-long human chain from VUMC’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital to the State Capitol building. 

The group occupied 21st Avenue near Vanderbilt and continued along Broadway, 8th Avenue South, Church Street and 6th Avenue North until demonstrators reached the Capitol on Charlotte Avenue. 

Parents, children and grandparents all lined the streets wearing bright red clothes to petition for common sense gun legislation. Young children held signs saying “Arms are for hugging” and “Kids > Guns” with their guardians by their sides. 

Many children were seen riding their parents’ shoulders, drawing with chalk and blowing bubbles. Slogans written in chalk decorated the three-mile path, and many were in children’s handwriting. The messages call for peace and an end to gun violence. 

All members of the community linked their arms together and chanted the same slogans they had written on their signs. Cars driving by honked to show their support.