1. It’s Thursday, April 16, 2015.
2. This part of April seems to have a disproportionate number of anniversaries of historic events. Lee’s surrender to Grant on April 9. The death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the 12th. The sinking of the Titanic and the shooting of Abraham Lincoln on the 14th. The death of Lincoln and the Major League Baseball debut of Jackie Robinson on the 15th. So I was curious about the 16th, and used Wikipedia (sorry, research purists).
And the event that caught my eye was April 16, 2007.
On that day, I was sitting at my desk in the CNNMoney newsroom when the big screens starting showing chaos on the campus of Virginia Tech University. There was an active shooter, and amid the snowflakes of an unseasonably cold April day in the Appalachians, that shooter took the lives of 32 students and faculty members before deciding to kill himself.
The young man was mentally ill. But somehow, he had been able to procure semi-automatic weapons.
At the time, my daughter was within two years of going off to college. And I thought about the horror that the victims’ families endured — I’m sure they still do. It’s a parent’s nightmare – you send the ultimate manifestation of your love out into the world and hope or pray that they’re safe. And then somebody whose mind is unstable inflicts pain – or worse.
Unfortunately, Virginia Tech wasn’t an isolated incident. It followed the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. It preceded the shootings at the Century Theater in Aurora, Colo., and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and lots of others that are about as heinous. And while there were some federal gun laws tightened after Virginia Tech, the jackasses who believe everyone should be armed have managed to stop other reasonable measures to make firearms safer and keep them out of the hands of insane people.
As sad and as angry as it makes me, I’m glad I looked this up. I’m glad that the people associated with Virginia Tech are taking time to remember, both on the Blacksburg campus and around the nation.
With all that happens, you sometimes forget events that, at the time, were all consuming. If only to honor the 32 innocent people who died that day, I’m going to try to keep remembering why April 16th is as significant as the days before it.
3. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, says nominating her for President will allow the Republicans to nullify Hillary Clinton’s ability to galvanize the women’s vote.
In case you were unaware, Carly Fiorina is a woman. I’m sure she’d want that known for certain.
Here’s the point that I believe Ms. Florina is missing. Hillary Clinton isn’t going to get a large amount of support from women just because she’s a woman. If Ms. Clinton does get that support, it will be because she has successfully captured the sentiments of American women about such issues as equal pay, income inequality, health care, control over their own bodies, same-sex marriage and war. (Which, by the way, happen to be issues a lot of men are interested in as well.)
I think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that Carly Fiorina will get very far in a White House bid. But if she tries to do it by saying “Hey, I’m a woman, too,” she’s got even less chance than that snowball.