In remembrance events across the country, groups of at least 32 people lay silently on the ground (following the example of Abby Spangler, founder of ProtestEasyGuns.com), rang bells, read names, or said prayers to remember the victims and to demonstrate their outrage at weak gun laws in America. Virginia Tech family members and survivors like the Samaha family, the Read family, the Goddard family, the Habtu family, the Pohle family, and others were an integral part of these events.
Remembrance events? Pardon me, but isn’t remembering a tragedy like Virginia Tech by having 32 people lying down and pretending to be dead kind of — stop me if I’m crazy here — tasteless?
It was not a remembrance event, it was a political protest.Â They are called “lie-ins” which is a variation of the 60s protest called “sit-ins.”Â These were political statements, not solemn acts of reflection.Â I won’t get on The Brady Campaign about using the Virginia Tech tragedy as an example of why we need stronger gun laws. Both sides use events, and sometimes tragedies, to advocate our positions. It’s how debate on a topic moves forward.
But I’ll fault them for using the tragedy to fundraise, for such a macabre and tasteless displays of “remembrance” as the “lie-in,” and for generally tying the entire remembrance theme in with their political issues.
I think Virginia Tech deserved the anniversary to be an actual day of remembrance and reflection, not a day of political statements. We have 364 other days of the year to argue the politics.