I will admit up front that I am extremely sensitive to groups using last year\’s tragic shooting at Virginia Tech as a platform to espouse their political beliefs. I don\’t think the Tech shootings make the case for or against gun control, and I bristle at attempts to use the tragedy for political advantage. That\’s why I went nuts on former Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson for using the shootings to push for more UW funding during state budget negotiations.

I was hoping to get through today\’s one year commemoration without having to address this, but it looks like the peaceniks are forcing my hand. Apparently, a group of peace activists is participating in a \”lie down\” in Milwaukee today to push for more gun control – and climbing over the graves of the Tech victims to make their point. State Representatives Jon Richards and Leon Young should be ashamed of themselves for taking part in this classless charade.

As mentioned in my last post, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association has organized a blood drive to commemorate the shootings. We thought this would be a much more positive way to recognize the dead than to have some sort of political demonstration. Naturally, the Journal Sentinel is on the spot to cover the demonstration, without any mention of our efforts, which were actually intended to help people.

I sent the following e-mail to Journal Sentinel reporter Linda Spice, to clarify some points in her Blog Post:


As Vice President of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association – Wisconsin Chapter, I have a little problem with your weblog post about \”Milwaukee\” marking the Virginia Tech shooting anniversary. From the title of the post, one would think that the City of Milwaukee is somehow commemorating the shootings. Yet it appears that it is only a small group of peace demonstrators gathering to further their political cause, and using the shootings as a platform.

Furthermore, we here at the VTAA-WI chapter have organized a blood drive in commemoration of the shootings. Blood centers throughout Southeast Wisconsin are participating – details follow this e-mail. It is our hope that this method of remembrance actually helps people in need, rather than serving as a political demonstration.

Thank you,
Christian Schneider
Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Wisconsin Chapter

Here\’s a \”Here and Now\” segment I filmed last April, where I make essentially the same point about groups piggybacking their own cause on the shootings:

UPDATE: The Journal Sentinel has added an article about the VTAA-WI\’s blood drive effort. Thanks to Linda Spice for following up on this.