On April 16, 2007, my child, Leslie Sherman, was killed by Seung-Hui Cho during the Virginia Tech massacre. Today is the fifth anniversary of her death. Always in my memories, every day I wish that this tragedy was a nightmare and I could wake up to hold my daughter even if it is just one more time. That opportunity might have been possible if someone been able to defend and protect my daughter in her classroom before Cho took 30 precious lives . . .
There is an unfortunate drive for more gun control and the continuation of preventing guns on campus by parents whose children lived or survived during that fatal day. Several family members of those victims have actively voiced their support for increased gun control measures. As result, it has been assumed that they speak for all families of the Virginia Tech victims. I am writing this to make it clear that this is not the case. They do not represent me and my views.
Speaking for myself, I would give anything if someone on campus; a professor, one of the trained military or guardsman taking classes or another student could have saved my daughter by shooting Cho before he killed our loved ones. Because professors, staff and students are precluded from protecting themselves on campus, Cho, a student at Virginia Tech himself, was able to simply walk on campus and go on a killing rampage with no worry that anyone would stop him.
I ask a simple question: Would the other parents of victims be forever thankful if a professor or student was allowed to carry a firearm and could have stopped Seung-Hui Cho before their loved one was injured or killed? I would be. I also suspect that the tragedy may not have occurred at all if Cho knew that either faculty members or students were permitted to carry their own weapons on campus. Cho took his own life before campus police were able to reach him and put a stop to his killing spree.
A sad testament to this anniversary date is the number of similar killings in schools and public places that have taken place afterwards as if nothing has changed to help prevent such needless and heartbreaking events. That is why I fully support the VCDL in their outstanding efforts to help prevent this type of tragedy and loss from occurring in the future.
[republished with the permission of the Virginia Citizens Defense League]