by Micheal Romero
A 26-year-old gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Oct. 1 and killed nine people in his English class before taking his own life.
It was discovered that the shooter, Christopher Harper-Mercer, had an arsenal of guns all obtained legally by him or members of his family.
As some call for gun control to prevent these massacres, others argue that gun control is not the solution and that “stuff happens.”
“Look stuff happens, there’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do,” said GOP candidate Jeb Bush in a forum on Oct. 2 for the Conservative Leadership Project at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Bush’s comment, which received a wave of backlash, was echoed by other GOP candidates like Donald Trump and Bobby Jindal.
But the comments, despite the perceived insensitivity, help us to understand the two reasons that the shooting occurred.
Americans are entitled and will fight hard to keep their guns and they don’t want to take responsibility for their kids.
The gunman’s mother Laurel Harper, is just as responsible for the shooting as the guns that she allowed in the apartment she shared with her son.
In an Oct. 5 article, The New York Times uncovered online postings that she took pride her son’s gun collection and his gun handling knowledge.
She attacked states that had gun laws limiting firearms and indicated that fully loaded guns were in her apartment in case of an intrusion.
But Harper isn’t a lone wolf in her sentiment towards guns. Americans love their guns and that’s why the gun control issue is an uphill battle.
NBC News reported on March 10 that a General Social Survey found 32 percent of Americans owning guns but a Pew Research Center survey from 2013 estimated that 310 million guns were owned.
On the other side of the argument is where the shooter’s father rests, but he should be held just as accountable for his son’s actions as Harper should.
When questioned by CNN on Oct. 3, Ian Mercer, mentioned that the gun laws currently in place are the reason his son was able to kill nine people, with guns he shouldn’t have been able to obtain and a mental illness he probably had.
“Obviously, somebody who goes and kills nine people has to have some kind of issue. Whatever it is, let the police determine what they find,” Mercer said.
But it should have been Mercer’s responsibility to find out what kind of illness his son had that pushed him to take the lives of Lucero Alcaraz, Treven Taylor Anspach, Rebecka Ann Carnes, Quinn Glenn Cooper, Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, Lucas Eibel, Jason Dale Johnson, Lawrence Levine and Sarena Dawn Moore.
A community college is a place you go until you’re ready financially, mentally or academically for a university. It’s two more years to figure out who you are and what you want to do before the burden of the big league. Eight students and one instructor don’t have this safe haven anymore and somebody is responsible. Harper-Mercer’s murder-suicide was not honorable or commendable in any way. His internal problems were the responsibility of his family and himself.
Romero isn’t afraid of guns but understands the need for gun control to keep tragedies like this from occurring. He believes Americans shouldn’t live in fear that someone will attack them at school, the grocery store or a movie theater.