Oregon’s Umpqua Community College erupted in gunfire leaving 10 dead and 7 wounded. The gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, died in a firefight with Douglas County deputies. Peculiar to this shooting, the gunman murdered people who confirmed they were Christians. Those who said they were not were wounded. The gunman’s connection to the college is unclear.
President Barack Obama quickly arranged a press conference condemning the killings and criticizing those who stand in the way of sensible gun regulation. He further stated that the vast majority of responsible gun owners and remaining citizens favor gun laws. He took to task those who block efforts for gun control and suggested that without congressional efforts he would be standing again in front of the nation expressing sympathy for victims and families in future mass killings.
The president spoke of trillions of dollars spent for security and challenged the media to compare the deaths from U.S. gun violence to terrorism deaths. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that from 2004 to 2013 there were 316,545 deaths from gun violence and during that period 313 deaths from terrorism. He suggests although we fund counterterrorism efforts, no effective efforts are made to curtail gun violence. He encouraged citizens to identify those elected officials blocking needed gun policy and remember their names in the polling booths.
Only an unbalanced citizen would not condemn the killings in this and past shootings. The conflict relates to how to eliminate the danger. Obama mentioned other wealthy nations and their lack of similar tragedies attributed to gun regulation. He expressed his concern that we stand alone in the frequency of these incidents among other nations. There are as many guns as people in the U.S., so it is clear, the President stated, more guns are not the answer.