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Our Hearts Go Out to All at Virginia Tech

PUBLISHED: April 18, 2007

We responded with deep sadness to the news out of Blacksburg on Monday—and with growing despair as the details have continued to emerge.

John T. Casteen IV, a member of our poetry board and a past contributor to VQR on the subject of gun control, has a piece on Slate that deserves everyone’s careful attention. We understand that John has been invited to appear tomorrow (April 19) on NPR’s “Here and Now.”

I rode down to Blacksburg yesterday with Waldo Jaquith, our web developer, who also happens to be a Virginia Tech alum. Waldo took some amazing photographs and shares his thoughts on his blog. Like Waldo, the moment I can’t seem to shake came as a small group of us sat around a television in Squires Student Center. While George W. Bush spoke, a half dozen students sat in their Hokies t-shirts, unspooling black ribbon, snipping it into even lengths, and twisting it into mourning lapel pins. Then others joined in, slowly filling a plain cardboard box. It was such a small gesture, but everybody wanted to be able to do something.


Tom Lachman's picture
Tom Lachman · 16 years ago
from marc fisher, washington post: The mad act of a solitary killer – a dead one who carried no identification – randomly slaughtering innocents in the most optimistic phase of their lives, at a place that is entirely about creating possibilities, creates vastly more victims than the murderer managed to shoot. Months, years from now, the pain and fear this man caused will diminish the lives of a generation of young people, just as the Columbine shootings did: Adults who grew up free to become masters of their surroundings, plotting their own innocent childhood adventures, will once again tighten the screws on their own offspring. Security will be ratcheted up yet again. Schools and parents will assert ever-more constant surveillance and control over kids. And the freedoms that children enjoyed virtually throughout the history of civilization will seem ever more like something out of a distant work of fiction – the backwoods rambles in Mark Twain’s stories, the revelatory misadventures that J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield grabbed for himself, the road to places unknown celebrated by Jack Kerouac.

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