The day before I called Qasim Rashid, L’12, from my office on Richmond’s campus, a man named Christopher Harper-Mercer walked onto another campus, Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and opened fire on his writing class. He fatally shot a professor and eight students and injured nine others before turning the gun on himself. Media speculated on a hodgepodge of possible explanations and motives: the infamy of similar mass shooters, his own isolation, and racial and religious hatred.
Rashid and I planned to talk about the power of human connection to reduce cultural misunderstanding and the violence that can result from it — violence like what happened in Oregon just the day before. Our timing felt off. But was there a less volatile time this year to talk with him?
This profile appeared in the winter 2016 issue of Richmond Law magazine.