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Video Tells How to Increase Chances for Surviving a Mass Shooting: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT

On April 16, 2007, in what was then the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, 32 people were killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and more than a dozen were injured.  

Since then, the frequency and intensity of mass shootings across the United States have increased. Shooters have attacked adults and children in universities, community colleges, elementary schools, offices, shopping centers, movie theatres, churches, temples, and other gathering spaces. Last year, when a gunman opened fire in a local nightclub in Orlando killing 49 people, the number of deaths in a single mass shooting reached a new high. 

As law enforcement and government agencies learn more about mass shooters and mass-shooting events, they have identified best practices for survival. The message is simple – RUN to leave the area; HIDE if you can’t leave; and as a last resort, FIGHT. Your survival may depend on whether you are aware of your surroundings and have a plan before a gunman attacks.

The day after the shooting, poet and professor Nikki Giovanni proclaimed, “We are Virginia Tech. We will prevail.”  On the tenth anniversary of this attack, members of the UVA community join Virginians and Americans across the nation in remembering those who died.

Transcript of Nikki Giovanni's Convocation Address, delivered April 17, 2007

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech