Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Year After April 30

One year ago today a gunman walked into a classroom in the Kennedy Building at UNC Charlotte, killing Reed Parlier and Riley Howell (who should be graduating now), wounding four others (Emily Houpt, Sean DeHart, Rami Al-Ramadhan and Drew Pescaro) and traumatizing many more. Here is what I wrote last year about it.

A year later, we cannot remember it together in person because of Covid-19. I have not even been on campus since March 20. This evening at 5:10 there will be an online remembrance ceremony after the in-person one had to be cancelled. (On this point, you can also read the feelings of Adam Johnson, the anthropologist who was teaching the class, about how this remembrance was handled, which are quite critical). This is so unfortunate, because the vigil and the ceremony last year were moving, with everyone there together. In fact, Emily Houpt participated in commencement last year for my college, and that was very emotional as well.

We also cannot say that as a society we've made even an inch of progress toward reducing gun violence in this country. The only reason mass shootings aren't happening as much now (though they're still being tried!) is that we're all quarantined in our homes so there aren't many gatherings--and no schools--to target. We are a broken country in this regard.


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