The Murder of Angela Dales - Twenty-One Years Later
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When the mother of my oldest grandchild was murdered over twenty years ago, I never, in my wildest dreams, thought our tragedy would be the beginning of a series of national tragedies—an epidemic of gun violence. I never envisioned that Virginia would be the site of this country’s worst school shooting on April 16, 2007, leaving thirty-two dead and at least seventeen wounded.
I never imagined that I would be sitting on the Governor’s Commission to Investigate the Virginia Beach Mass Shooting of May 31, 2019, that left twelve dead and four wounded, or that, during my time on the panel, there would be other school shootings: one at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia and the other at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
I wrote the first edition of this book, thinking perhaps my words could help prevent other families from experiencing the anguish and pain my family had experienced.
I was wrong, sadly, terribly wrong.
Instead of working to keep guns away from people who are a threat to themselves and others, Virginia’s legislators have opened the floodgates for anyone to buy any sort of firearm.
In Virginia, there is a law that a convicted spouse abuser must turn over his or her gun to a neutral third party. But the same law prevents law enforcement officers from following up to see if the spouse abuser complied with the order. That is beyond the ridiculous. It is just plain stupid.
In Ohio, the legislature has passed a concealed carry law requiring no background check, no training, or permit to carry a gun. So, in the Buckeye state, a person can beat up a spouse, or maybe even use a weapon to threaten or kill that spouse, and then go right out and buy another firearm. This is madness!
The victims’ families want the truth, hoping to find justice through the facts. Unfortunately, they get lies; they get no truth and no justice. People in positions of trust and authority know no bounds to the extent they will lie to protect their careers and institutions.
To paraphrase John Steinbeck: the sharp pain of truth—being told your loved one has been murdered—can pass away; but the slow, eating agony of a lie never dies.