We Mourn with Uvalde

Fifteen years ago — on April 17, 2007 — a lone gunman killed thirty-two students and faculty members at Virginia Tech. Blacksburg is less than 200 miles from Charlottesville but the university communities joined hands in grief. Thomas Kapsidelis, a journalist, and at the time a fellow at Virginia Humanities, described the events of that tragic day in a 2019 book. After Virginia Tech: Guns, Safety, and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings gives us pause and perspective for contemplation. It was not an isolated event. Nor was Sandy Hook or Columbine. According to the Associated Press there have been fourteen school shootings since Virginia Tech which have left 169 students and teachers dead. Kapsidelis quotes retired superintendent Colonel W. Gerald Massengill, who said of the Virginia Tech shooting victims, “We will never know what our nation and the world lost that terrible day . . . a gifted scientist . . . an engineer . . . a gifted political leader . . . or maybe,” he writes, “a legal scholar who could help our society find a way to allow those with roles in these great tragedies to say ‘I am sorry’ without fear of legal repercussions.” Today our hearts are broken for the families and friends of Eva, Irma, Uziyah, Xavier, Jose, Amerie, Lexi, Eliahana, Alithia, Annabell, Eliahna, Rojelio, Jailah, Jayce, Jacklyn, Makenna, Navaeh, Tess, Layla, Miranda, and Maite and all the survivors.

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