It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since that horrible day at Virginia Tech, when a deranged shooter with access to serious firepower killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. In some ways, what’s even harder to believe is that 6 years after that event – and after other terrible incidents of gun violence – no serious action has been taken to stem this violence at the federal level, or here in Virginia. Clearly, it’s long past time, and overwhelming majorities of Americans want action, yet the NRA and others with major financial interest in preventing such action have, so far, largely prevailed. That’s unacceptable, and it’s long past time we changed it.
With that in mind, see below for a statement by Virginia State Senator Mark Herring, who hopefully will be Virginia’s next Attorney General. Also, the photo is from the great folks at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence – VA Tech mom Lori Haas speaking, VA Tech shooting victim Colin Goddard standing behind her, Sen. Tim Kaine third from the right, as well as survivors from Aurora, Tuscon and Newtown, all urging #NoMoreNames!I think that’s something we can all agree with.
Today marks the six-year anniversary of the horrific shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech. On the heels of yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, and four months after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, our national consciousness has been awakened, and we are called to take action to address this violence and string of tragedies that are becoming all too commonplace in our society.
As we take time today to reflect on the memory of the 32 lives that were taken so suddenly six years ago in Blacksburg, we need to ask ourselves, “how can we make our communities safer and more secure, for ourselves and for our children?”
There are commonsense steps that we can take right now to address the issues of gun violence in our country: universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and reforming our mental health care system.
None of these reforms, on their own or taken together, can prevent every tragedy from occurring, but the time to take action is now. We owe it to the victims and their families, and we owe it to ourselves and to future generations.
The fight to enact these reforms will be difficult, but thank you for joining with me as we work to honor the memory of those who were killed at Virginia Tech.