Opinion: From Virginia Tech to Virginia Beach, gun safety should be the priority

Virginia is for (gun) lovers. There’s no other way to explain it. Because 12 years after the Virginia Tech massacre – the worst mass shooting on a campus in American history – gun control remains on the back burner in a state that is now reeling from another tragedy. On Friday, 12 people were killed by a co-worker turned mass shooter at the Virginia Beach municipal complex. The city engineer was armed with two legally purchased .45-caliber pistols. At least one of them was outfitted with a sound suppressor and extended magazine. We’ve experienced this kind of horror before, but it hasn’t led to any real change in the Old Dominion. “It has been incredibly frustrating,” said Andrew Goddard, whose son was shot at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, while he was in French class. He was not one of the 32 people killed by Seung Hui Cho, 23, the student who unleashed a lethal, 10-minute rampage. Colin Goddard was among the 17 who survived but had to learn to walk all over again. Some of the bullets remained in his body, and, today, he struggles with severe health problems that include lead poisoning. Father and son have been fighting for gun control ever since. They thought they could do something to change the way Virginia regulates gun purchases. They thought they could save lives. But the gun rights advocates have made that impossible. “After 12 general sessions, back to back, no progress, we’ve managed to fight to […]

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