My book on the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law, “The Murder of Angela Dales, A Question of Accountability,” is a call for help. The book throws down the gauntlet to Virginians—particularly the men of Virginia. The book simply asks, “Where are your back bones? Where are your brains?” We can have our guns and protect lives—the two are not mutually exclusive. Yet, there are those in this state who ask Virginians to put aside their ability to reason, their brains, and to mindlessly follow their frantic call to eliminate all restrictions on gun ownership. They frighten hunters by saying that to prevent the mentally disturbed, the criminally violent, the spouse abusers from owning guns, will infringe upon their right to hunt. Nothing could be further from the truth. They cite the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. Apparently they skip the first amendment, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Victims Didn’t Deserve What Happened
The victims at the Appalachian School of Law did nothing to deserve what happened to them. All three, Dean Sutin, Professor Blackwell, and Angela Dales, were decent human beings whose lives motivated by bettering the lives of others. Their only “crime” was to be decent and caring—they paid for their “crime” with their lives.
Members of the legal profession pride themselves on the fact that “the law is blind.” Sadly, unfortunately, the law is blind—it is blind to suffering and it is blind to reforms that may save lives.
The law is blind to the victims of January 16, 2002 shooting rampage. The victims are not just Angela Dales, Dean Sutin, and Professor Blackwell. The victims go far beyond the three wounded students: Rebecca Brown, Madeline Short, and Stacey Beans. The landscape of southwestern Virginia is littered with victims of that terrible shooting.
Peter Odighizuwa’s long-suffering wife and his four children are victims. They will have to live with the terrible fact that their husband/father is a murderer. (To be continued)