Ten Years After Virginia Tech Massacre, Survivor and CSGV Virginia State Director Reflects on Progress
Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of massacre in which 32 people were killed and 23 were injured
Blacksburg, VA (April 13, 2017) — On April 16, 2007, a gunman killed 32 people and injured 23 others on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. At the time and for more than nine years afterwards, the massacre at Virginia Tech was the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia State Director Lori Haas, whose daughter was shot and injured during the Virginia Tech massacre, issued the following statement:
“As the ten year anniversary of this tragedy approaches, my heart is with the families whose loved ones were killed on campus that day. I mourn for them and for all the victims of America’s day-to-day gun violence epidemic.”
“After Virginia Tech, I dedicated my life to fighting for stronger gun laws. It has been a difficult road. In ten years, we have encountered challenges and heartbreak, but we have also seen positive change. We have seen gun violence prevention go from an issue no politician wants to talk about to an issue candidates build their campaigns around. The gun violence prevention movement has become more politically organized and impactful than ever, with more activists, donors, and volunteers joining the fight each day.”
“We have seen state lawmakers step up when federal legislation was blocked. Following the massacre, Virginia improved our state background check system. Numerous states have implemented universal background check laws. California and Washington state have passed laws like the Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), which identifies and temporarily removes guns from individuals who meet behavioral criteria for dangerousness. More states are looking to improve their laws with each passing legislative session.”
“We have made significant progress since April 16, 2007. No one who knows this movement can deny that. But we still have a lot of work to do. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Survivors and activists will continue to fight to pass evidence-based laws, change the conversation surrounding gun violence prevention, and counter the NRA’s extremist, callous talking points. It is the most important way we can honor those killed or injured at Virginia Tech and the 36,000 American lives taken by guns each year.”