Gun Control Discussions Trend Online After UVA Shooting Leaves 3 Dead

The killing of three football players has prompted responses from the family members of shooting victims
By Amelia Merrill
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

After a campus shooting left three dead at the University of Virginia, discussions about gun rights, gun control, and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are trending on Twitter.

On Sunday night, UVA student Chris Jones Jr. killed three students in a parking garage on campus and wounded at least two others. All three victims—junior Devin Chandler, junior Lavel Davis Jr., and senior D’Sean Perry—were members of the UVA Cavaliers football team. Jones Jr. was on the Cavaliers football roster in 2018.

Gun control advocates have weighed in about the shooting, which follows the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, another university in the state, and is the 42nd documented school shooting this year. Fred Guttenberg, an activist whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the 2018 Parkland, Fla. school shooting, has garnered over 20,000 likes from his tweets today, particularly for one calling out the response of Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin.

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Guttenberg criticized Youngkin’s characterization of the UVA shooting as an “event,” though Youngkin did refer to the shooting as a “tragedy” in a separate tweet. Youngkin, a Republican, has spoken out against the Democratic party’s gun control legislation in the past, but the NRA refused to endorse him in his 2021 campaign.

Shortly before the shooting and Youngkin and Guttenberg’s Twitter exchange, former president Donald Trump took to his platform Truth Social to lambast Youngkin and lieutenant governor Winsome Earle-Sears. Trump endorsed Youngkin in 2021, but Youngkin later distanced himself from the Trump wing of the Republican party, prompting the former president’s ire.

The phrase “Praying for UVA” has trended on Twitter throughout the day, along with the names of each victim. Police in Henrico County, Va. arrested Jones Jr. earlier today.