Blog Post #5

Oregon Community College Shooting

Suspect: Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, has been identified as the gunman at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg - an American with links to Britain who appeared to celebrate Nazis and the IRA

It is easy to forget about all of the positive things happening in the world. It is easier to forget the positives when we are presented with something so negative. Death is always terrible, but the reason behind the death can bring new levels of hurt and tragedy. At a local community college in Oregon, there was recently a mass shooting that left nine dead and wounded seven others. 26 year old Chris Mercer was enrolled in the class that he attacked, and specifically was targeting Christians. He ended the rampage by committing suicide, after two officers and a sheriff had arrived on the scene. According to USA Today, Mercer is believed to have left behind a document that glorified mass killings and bitterly referred to his lonely existence with few human contacts outside the internet.

I heard of the accident the day after it happened, and was confused why I had not gained knowledge the day of. I asked my peers if they had heard of the shooting, and although a few had, many were finding out at the same time as I. The shooting was similar to “Columbine” in regards to casualties, but for some reason I had not received the news. Perhaps I was ignorant and did not pay attention to the news, or perhaps the media was trying to keep it in a lower light to avoid such a tragedy gaining popularity. According to FoxNews, the Oregon shooter had tracked other mass shootings on social media. Much research has been shown to prove that shooters make the decisions they do to garner popularity, and perhaps the media was trying to counter that by not making it as known. I would be saddened if the reason I had not heard of the accident was because it was not considered a big deal. Since there have been so many shootings recently, people are just getting used to it and not taking it as seriously as they should be. These are all simply speculations, and I do not have answers, only confusion.

Initially when I first heard of this story I knew there was going to be a fierce debate sparking about gun control. Then I learned of news that would silence many of the people fighting for the increase of gun control. All thirteen weapons Chris Mercer owned were bought legally. He was allowed to have the guns that he unfortunately used to end the lives of so many. President Obama repeated his calls for Congress to toughen up the gun laws, according to BBC. He also urged for the public to apply pressure to their local politicians, “prayers are no longer enough.”

Another question that many people will encounter when hearing the news of the shooting is simply “why?” What would bring someone to do something so terrible? A witness of the shooting told CNN how the gunman asked his the victims to state their religion before shooting them. “Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them, ‘and if you are a Christian stand up.'” The gunman told the victims: “because you’re a Christian you’re going to see God in just about one second”. That statement is chilling. As a Christian, I think to myself, “would I have stood up?” I like to think that I would, but in a matter of life or death I do not know what I would do. I have an immense respect for the people who did acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and can rejoice in the fact that they are currently in heaven celebrating. The families they left behind on earth are in a state of utter mourning, and I can not even begin to understand what they are going through.

According to Telegraph, there have been 293 mass shootings in the US this year- more shootings, in fact, than days. The terrifying statistic has been resonating in my mind, and it doesn’t seem like it should be realistic. I personally have only heard of a select few, and I am once again curious as to why I have not heard of every single shooting. Each time lives were taken, but not each shooting was covered as heavily. Is the media withholding the fame the shooters are striving to achieve? Are people getting used to hearing about shootings and dismissing them with less and less importance each time? I am deeply saddened by this worldly occurrence, and is one of the reasons I often forget about the good that happens as well.

Sources:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/03/us/oregon-umpqua-community-college-shooting/
  2. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34436373
  3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/02/oregon-shooter-said-to-have-singled-out-christians-for-killing-in-horrific-act-of-cowardice/
  4. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-oregon-shooting-kass-met-1004-20151002-column.html
  5. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/03/sheriff-gunman-who-killed-at-oregon-college-committed-suicide/?intcmp=hpbt3
  6. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/10/02/oregon-college-shooting/73192562/
  7. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-le-1003-oregon-shooting-once-again-the-terrorists-are-us-20151002-story.html
  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/us/confusion-horror-and-heroism-in-oregon-shooting.html
  9. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/10/02/hero-oregon-community-college-shooter-gun-violence-massacre/73199764/
  10. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3258672/Oregon-shooting-sheriff-John-Hanlin-posted-link-Sandy-Hook-conspiracy-video-Facebook-page-2013.html
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