• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Title

The Next Day

After the shock from the shootings, then what?

November 16, 2022

I’ve been heartened by the responses to the killings at UVA.

Fifteen years ago, Virginia Tech was the site of a massacre. Although Tech and UVA are rivals, students at UVA adopted “Hoos for Hokies” as a show of support. This time, Tech returned the gesture, with their women’s basketball team wearing “Hokies for Hoos” shirts. It’s morbid and awful that shootings are common enough to engender a sort of reciprocity, but there’s also something encouraging in people coming together when it really matters.

On Monday night, UVA students arranged their own vigil. From what I saw online, it was entirely silent.

President Ryan is opening his home to students in the afternoons of this week.

TB reports that exams are being pushed back, in recognition that some students are too overwhelmed to focus. I can’t blame them.

Family, current and former colleagues, and longtime friends have reached out with messages of compassion and concern. TW and I appreciate every single one. We’re OK; please direct support to the people who most need it, and to those working for positive change.

Most of all, it’s time to stop the madness. The guns have to go. They just have to go.

I’m tired of the excuses. If you aren’t part of a “well-regulated militia,” the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to you. The gun lobby can be outvoted. “Culture wars” are political marketing. I’ve never met anyone who thinks that random students deserve to be shot and killed just for being. That’s what keeps happening.

The greatest crime the gun lobby ever committed was getting us to think that guns are inevitable and safety is political.

The responses to the latest shooting have been humane, thoughtful and heartening. The best response would be to make the latest shooting the last shooting. Let’s try that.

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Matt Reed

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