Thursday, October 15, 2009


October 15, 2009


The Families of the Appalachian School of Law
Virginia Tech University Shooting Victims

Catherine Crabill, Republican candidate for the 99th District of the Virginia House of Delegates, owes family members of victims of the shootings at the Appalachian School of Law and Virginia Tech University an apology. In fact, she owes an apology to all the families of victims of gun violence. Her statement that if she cannot get what she wants at the election box, she will get it at “the bullet box,” is an appalling assertion. Her words give the green light to the mentally ill and those prone to violence to take up arms whenever they don’t get what they want. That is exactly what Peter Odighizuwa did in Grundy, Virginia, and what Seung-Hui Cho did in Blacksburg, Virginia. Ms. Crabill’s words not only condone killing, but could encourage it.

Ms. Crabill shows a lack of understanding and compassion in a state that has suffered two of the worst school shootings in this nation’s history. At a time when Richmond needs clear-thinking and intelligent politicians, Ms. Crabill’s words indicate that she possesses neither of these qualities. Indeed, her words indicate a person who shows poor judgment, is ignorant, and is prone to emotional exaggerations.

Virginia is still wrestling to find ways to preserve the rights of all law-abiding citizens to own guns, but keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill and emotionally unstable—as well as those ineligible to buy guns under current laws. Ms. Crabill clearly has indicated she would be a hindrance to any process that seeks to make our school grounds safer.

Before the Constitution and the Bill of Rights came the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson—a Virginian. In that document are the following words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…” The founding fathers put the right to life at the forefront of their thoughts. Nowhere can I find a reference to the right to turn to the “bullet box” if someone disagrees with you. To openly call for the use of bullets, which will lead to the killing of human beings, is an anathema and the antithesis of our nation’s family values.

We, the families indicated below; call on the electorate of the 99th District to reject Ms. Crabill’s irrational emotionalism and vote for Albert Pollard.

The Appalachian School of Law, January 16, 2002--three murdered and three wounded:

David and Janice Cariens Jr. and family
Northumberland County, Virginia
Danny and Sue Dales and family
Bluefield, Virginia
Murdered: student Angela Denise Dales, age 33

Virginia Tech University, April 16, 2007—32 murdered and 17 wounded:

Joseph and Mona Samaha and family
Centreville, Virginia
Murdered: student Reema Samaha, age 18

Michael and Teresa Pohle and family
Flemington, New Jersey
Murdered: student Michael Pohle, age 23

Channing and Lori Haas and family
Richmond, Virginia
Wounded: student Emily Haas

John and Suzanne Grimes and family
Eighty Four, Pennsylvania
Severely wounded with permanent nerve damage, student: Kevin Sterne age 22

Michael and Jeri Bishop and family
Pine Mountain, Georgia
Killed: instructor Jamie Bishop, age 35

Garrett Evans
Chicago, Illinois
Wounded and survived

Tracey Lane (mother)
Narrows, Virginia
Murdered: student Jarrett Lee Lane, age 22

Paul Turner
Vienna, Virginia
Murdered: student Maxine Shelly Turner

Dr. Diane Strollo
Mother of seriously wounded daughter

Lynnette Alameddine (mother)
Yvonne Alameddine (sister)
Saugus, Massachusetts
Murdered: Ross Alameddine, age 20

Dennis and Beverly Bluhm and family
Stephens City, Virginia
Murdered: student Brian Bluhm, age 26

Jody McQuade (mother)
Morgan McQuade (sister)
Ryan McQuade (brother)
Wounded, shot in the face: Sean McQuade, age 25

Mike and Margaret Herbstritt
Joseph Herbstritt (brother)
Stephanie (sister)
Bellfonte, Pennsylvania
Murdered: student Jeremy M. Herbstritt, age 27

Marilena Librescu
Murdered: Professor Liviu Librescu, Holocaust survivor

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