It has happened again. Some poster child for American paranoia and gun culture has decided to take out his frustrations on a bunch of innocent people, this time in Oregon. At this time, we don’t know much about him, except that the local sheriff has informed the media that he’s dead. Some outlets are also saying that he was white, and 20 years old. In other words, he fits the profile.
As has happened before, the shooter apparently left indications that something was up on social media. The screenshot below is from a conversation on 4Chan. While it can’t be confirmed at this time that the person who cautioned others to stay away from campus was the person who committed this heinous act, it certainly looks plausible. And what’s even more unsettling about this is that as far as we know, none of the other users on this thread alerted authorities.
Another person with an apparent axe to grind, or a statement to make, and easy access to guns. And the dust had hardly settled before the “moar gunz” crowd started saying that the problem wasn’t too many guns, it was not enough guns. CNN, which used to have some credibility as a news organization back in the Ted Turner days, paraded their military analyst, Rick Francona in front of viewers to blame the massacre on the college campus being a “gun free zone.”
Shortly after that, another CNN commentator, retired Navy Seal Jonathan Gilliam also took the NRA line:
This shows you how quickly these things can go bad, and these gun free zones, just like happened in Tennessee that this shooter that went onto a military installation, which was a gun free zone. We see that the only thing that’s going to stop a gun is another gun.
That’s right, America. The only way to be safe is to strap on your gun before you go to town. They want American streets to look like Somalia, everybody with an AK-47 slung over his or her shoulder.
Let’s imagine Umpqua Community College as a place where a majority of students and faculty are armed. This is in a country where you can buy a weapon, and never have to demonstrate that you can properly handle that weapon. This is in a country where if you carry a weapon, you never have to have training to find out how you would react under pressure while armed. Raise your hand if you think the death toll would have been lower. Anybody?
“Oh, he wouldn’t even have attempted this,” you say. Really? A large portion of these killers are suicidal. It doesn’t matter to them whether they kill a bunch of other people, and then turn their weapon on themselves, or whether they commit “suicide by police” (or by a “good guy with a gun”). Arming everybody will not stop suicidal killers from doing what they want to do. What it is likely to do is get a lot more innocent people killed.
I was going to say that it is time to have a sensible conversation about guns in America. But it’s well past that time. Can we start that conversation now? We can’t keep saying “it’s too soon.” With the frequency of these killings, it will always be “too soon.” If we don’t get this dialog started, the most abused and misinterpreted part of the Constitution, the Second Amendment, is going to be the death of us all.
Here are the comments from Rick Francona and Jonathan Gilliam, via CNN/RawStory:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0xGq5Skk1U?rel=0] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OLtsks7BcE?rel=0]
Featured image via CNN screen capture