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VA House Democrats, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Remember Victims of the Mass Shooting at Virginia Tech

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I can’t believe it’s been 12 years…just wish that a lot more had changed by now in terms of gun violence prevention in this country!

VA House Democrats Remember Victims of the Mass Shooting at Virginia Tech

RICHMOND (April 16, 2019) – Virginia House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring issued the following statement on the twelfth anniversary of the tragic massacre at Virginia Tech that took the lives of 32 students and faculty.

“Twelve years from the horrific shooting at Virginia Tech, the pain has not subsided. The hurt and the horror are still just as sharp for those who lost loved ones, for those who survived, and for all Virginians. Today, we are reminded, as we are frequently, of the ways in which we can honor those taken from us too soon by this act of gun violence.

“One way to honor the victims is to remember who they were – remember their names, remember their faces, and remember the light they brought to this world: Ross A. Alameddine, Christopher James Bishop, Brian R. Bluhm, Ryan Christopher Clark, Austin Michelle Cloyd, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Kevin P. Granata, Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, Caitlin Millar Hammaren, Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, Rachael Elizabeth Hill, Emily Jane Hilscher, Jarrett Lee Lane, Matthew Joseph La Porte, Henry J. Lee (Henh Ly), Liviu Librescu, G.V. Loganathan, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, Lauren Ashley McCain, Daniel Patrick O’Neil, Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz, Minal Hiralal Panchal, Daniel, Alejandro Perez Cueva, Erin Nicole Peterson, Michael Steven Pohle, Jr., Julia Kathleen Pryde, Mary Karen Read, Reema Joseph Samaha, Waleed Mohamed Shaalan, Leslie Geraldine Sherman, Maxine Shelly Turner, Nicole Regina White.

“We can – and must – also honor the victims and survivors by finally taking meaningful action on gun reform. It is unconscionable that in twelve years, Virginia has failed to pass substantial, common-sense gun violence prevention. In 2007, 32 lives were taken in the Virginia Tech massacre; in 2017, 1,041 Virginians lost their lives to gun violence. We mourn every single one. It is past time to address the epidemic of gun violence in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

In 2019, Virginia House Democrats released the Safe Virginia Initiative report, outlining a recent history of gun violence in Virginia and unveiling a set of policy recommendations to enact meaningful gun safety laws. All were defeated in subcommittee hearings on party-line votes. House Democrats also released a minority report after the House Select Committee on School Safety (which was established after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018) was restricted from addressing gun violence in its discussion and recommendations.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Marks Virginia Tech Anniversary

Washington, DC — April 16, 2019 marks the twelfth anniversary of the horrific shooting at Virginia Tech, during which 32 individuals were killed. At the time and for years afterwards, the massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia State Director Lori Haas issued the following statement:

“I’ll never forget April 16, 2007. It was a horrific day that changed my life — and so many other lives — forever. Twelve years ago today, my daughter was shot and injured in her classroom at Virginia Tech. We were lucky; our daughter survived her injuries. Thirty-two other families were not as fortunate.

“After Virginia Tech, I began working to change gun laws in Virginia and at the federal level, working with grassroots advocates and those whose loved ones had been killed by gun violence.  Through my work, I learned more and more about gun violence in all its forms — including day-to-day gun violence and gun suicide.

“Over the last 12 years, our movement has made significant progress. We have developed and advocated for evidence-based policies to identify people who should not own guns. We’ve passed extreme risk laws in 15 states and the District of Columbia. We’ve worked to unmask the National Rifle Association (NRA) as the extremist organization it is and defeat politicians who are aligned with the group.

“The change we have witnessed since Virginia Tech is notable. It is a testament to the activists and survivors who came together before that day, after that day, and after each subsequent, painful shooting in the years that followed.

“Today, on the anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, we reflect on the human cost of gun violence. We acknowledge the work ahead of us. We appreciate the sacrifices of those who have turned their pain into power. And we promise to honor the victims of gun violence with action.”