When 32 Virginia Tech students and professors were murdered on April 16, 2007, it was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman up to that time in America. This important book examines many dimensions of the profound aftermath of that event. It traumatized the police who responded; it severely complicated the tasks of university counselors and chaplains. Some victims and their advocates became involved in gun law reform activism while others affected focused on various kinds of personal self-defense. Given the cascade of subsequent mass shootings, this book has to be viewed as truly significant. “Kapsidelis tells the story of mass shootings unwaveringly from the perspective of survivors. His voice is quiet, empathetic, sensitive, trustworthy, accurate, and never overwrought, conveying empathy without pathos. Kapsidelis’s account of the actual day of the shooting, and the shooting itself, is brilliant. At a time when guns are posited as the only way to preserve life and safety, the events at Virginia Tech suggest that there are other means of survival and heroism.” - Pamela Haag. “Well-researched and clearly written, [the] book's major accomplishment is the author's exploration of the healing process.... Too many accounts of murderous rampages fail to offer long-term insights into the trauma faced by survivors, but Kapsidelis provides useful information on the topic, including discussions of 'gun violence as a health issue.'... An important book for policymakers and those interested in the continuing, depressingly widespread instances of gun violence. - Kirkus Reviews. The author, Thomas Kapsidelis, is an award-winning journalist now a fellow at Virginia Humanities.
Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 2019. 261 pages with an Index, Bibliography, Notes and photos. Hardback in dust jacket.