Last week marked the first anniversary of the gun massacre at Virginia Tech. The remembrance was marked by more than 70 “Lie-Ins across the nation, including one at the university, which also conducted a candlelight vigil and other commemorative events.
I could not help but be moved by the remarkable way the VA Tech community has responded to this great tragedy. I am also impressed that so many of the Hokies-students and parents-have become involved in the movement to stop gun violence.
As each of these shooting events takes place, the public response has for the most part become predictable. Most Americans are horrified and frustrated in equal parts. Certain politicians decry the violence, yet proclaim that guns have nothing to do with the problem. We all know that is not true. Guns have everything to do with it. There is no other consumer product used so frequently to deliberately kill our fellow citizens.
The pro-gun lobby is predictably using the recent school shootings as an opportunity to ask, What if the teachers and students had been armed? That is the wrong question.
The right question is, What if the perpetrator had NOT been able to obtain those firearms? How many lives would have been saved? Instead of asking what the U.S. would be like with more guns, shouldn t we be asking what our country would be like with fewer guns? Guns do not solve problems, they create problems. A handgun is designed for the sole purpose of taking human life.
It is tragic that we have come to this; that we are obliged to be fearful of gun violence in our schools, our places of work and worship, our streets and highways. Our efforts must be dedicated to ending this shameful chapter in the life of the nation.