Richmond – 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.