Virginia Tech to Hold “Lie-In” on Anniversary of Tragedy

Family members of the victims of the shooting last April at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the tragedy with other gun violence victims, college students and community members by hosting a “lie-in” on the school’s campus. At the event participants plan urge Congress to toughen the gun laws by closing a loophole that allows the purchase of firearms at gun shows without a background check.

During the “lie-in” demonstrators will lie down in groups of 32 to honor the 32 people gunned down by Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho, who committed suicide at the scene of the shooting. They will lie down for only a few minutes to emphasize how quickly a gun can be purchased in the United States.

“I want to pay tribute to those fellow students we lost and to try to bring awareness of the ease of obtaining guns by those who are afflicted with a mental disorder or those who have been involved in a prior violent attack,” said Alison St. Onge, the primary organizer of the demonstration. “ Thorough background checks should be done every time on those wanting to obtain a gun.”

The demonstration will be held on April 16, 2008 at noon, following the university’s tribute to the victims.

“We refuse to accept that nothing can be done,” Abigail Spangler, founder of ProtestEasyGuns.com. Her organization began holding “lie-in” protests last year after the shooting at Virginia Tech and has christened April 16 as National Lie-In Day. “We’ll keep making our voices heard until we pass laws that make our children and our communities safer.”

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