Dear Brave Hearts,
Nearly eleven years ago, 32 people, most not older than you, were gunned down in my hometown, Blacksburg, Virginia, on the campus of my alma mater, Virginia Tech. Your school sent mine a lovely wooden book filled with letters and artwork from across Florida. Your compassion helped Blacksburg and the Hokie Nation heal.
It breaks my heart that the same violence has come to your school—and that nothing has changed in those years. Those 32 deaths weren’t enough to change lawmakers’ minds. Nor were the deaths in Sandy Hook, the Pulse, Las Vegas, or of the other shootings since 2007.
However, now, I see hope in you. Your anger. Your passion. Your bravery. I hope these will fuel the change needed to bring this country to its senses.
As a Hokie, a YA/MG author, and a human being, I fully support your right to roar enough and #Neveragain! I will lend my voice and action wherever I can.
So keep speaking truth to power. Keep shaming the politicians who would hide behind platitudes and lies. Keep reminding us that you are the future and we’d better value it. This is the time to talk about guns. This is the time to turn your anger into positive action.
Angie Smibert, Author