Nationwide, Students Hold 'Lie-Ins'

How campuses across the country commemorated the Virginia Tech anniversary.

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Virginia Tech sociology professor Bradley Hertel, foreground, holds the hand of Anne Goddard during an anti-gun "lie in" on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., Wednesday, April 16, 2008, the one-year anniversary of the nation's worst mass shooting.

So I've already written about the effects of the Virginia Tech shooting on campuses nationwide, but what exactly did students across the country do on the one-year anniversary?

For the most part, schools quietly recognized the day. Students at the University of Virginia, the University of Georgia, University of Southern California, George Washington University, and Princeton held small candlelight vigils, while many more schools—such as the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and North Carolina State—observed a moment of silence late Wednesday morning.

The Virginia Tech campus was not the only place where "lie-ins" stirred a bit of controversy. While the Hokie event remained somewhat apolitical, similar events around the country wore their intentions more prominently. Most "lie-ins" were in fact protests of easy gun access and lasted three minutes long—the amount of time it takes to purchase a gun in the United States. Students from Wisconsin, the University of Massachusetts, the University of North Carolina, and all over Ohio held their own demonstrations.

Protesters also commandeered a section of Times Square in New York to lie down, while activists did the same on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.—an event that attracted the likes of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. "The greatest tragedy is not learning from the tragedy that occurred one year ago today," he said.