Virginia Tech Mom Lori Haas: "We are not going away"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This is the last in my series of videos on the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence event Wednesday night. Lori Haas, who speaks in this video, got involved in the gun issue after her daughter, Emily, was wounded in the Virginia Tech shootings. As Haas describes in this video, she received a phone call on April 16, 2007, that no parent ever wants to get, as she heard her daughter tell her, "mommy, I've been shot." Fortunately, Emily Haas survived -- as her mother says, she was "very lucky that morning," as 11 students and a professor in that classroom were murdered. Absolutely horrible. In the aftermath of that terrible day, Lori Haas dedicated herself to remedying the "abysmal state of the gun laws in Virginia and in our country that make it far too easy for prohibited buyers like Cho [and] Loughner to get guns and wreak indescribable pain on far too many American families." Here in Virginia, Haas and her allies have fought attempts to weaken the Commonwealth's already weak gun laws. For instance, the gun lobby has been pushing for "universal concealed carry;" "repeal of one handgun a month;" expansion of the "shoot-first doctrine" ("would allow any person to use deadly force with a firearm to any perceived threat without any repercussions"); "restoration of firearm rights to the legally incompetent and mentally ill;" abolition of the Virginia Firearms Transaction Bureau ("the preeminent state background check system in the country, they say there's no need for it"); and elevation of Second Amendment rights "above personal and private property rights." In sum, according to Haas, the gun lobby's goal can be boiled down to "any gun, anywhere, anytime." Fortunately, Haas, her colleagues, and supporters are fighting this, and as Haas says, "we are not going away." If you support the work that Lori Haas and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are doing here in Virginia, you can get involved, sign up to receive emails, and of course donate. Having met Lori Haas and others in the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, I am confident that this is a worthy source of your assistance. Thanks. P.S. Also in the audience for this event was Colin Goddard, another Virginia Tech shooting survivor who now works for reasonable, commonsense gun safety laws in this country.