Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, is the latest spot of a mass shooting.
The killer, Chris Harper Mercer, ran rampant on Thursday, slaughtering nine people and injuring at least 10 others. Law enforcement officials have said the reason Mercer did this was because he “felt the world was against him,” according to NBC. CNN released on Saturday that the gunman killed himself, according to the local sheriff.
The local law enforcement in the southern Oregon town has decided to not announce Mercer’s name publicly. The reasoning behind this is to avoid giving the gunman what he wanted: Infamous attention and a public profile. By doing so, they hope to focus more on the victims of this horrific crime.
The chief medical officer, Jason Gray, had this to say: “I will not give him the credit for this horrific act of cowardice. Media will get the name confirmed in time…but you will never hear us use it,” Gray told The Washington Post.
I support the decision made by the law enforcement and plan to follow the same idea.
This is an eye-opening idea that I hope spreads to the minds of the nation. Instead of giving these mass killers the fame and attention they crave so much, why not focus on the victims? Let us focus on what the victims had accomplished in their lives through their dreams and aspirations.
The nine victims were shot by one of the many weapons the killer had been carrying. In total, the shooter had 13 weapons: Six he brought to the school and seven that were later found in his home. According to NBC, all of the weapons were purchased legally by him or by a family member.
The county sheriff of Douglas, John Hanlin, told reporters, “In Oregon, this is a hunting state and firearms are possible in most households.” Hanlin was reiterating the fact that 13 guns may seem like a lot at first glance, but it is not uncommon once you think about it rationally.
Of course, our Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms and gives no limit to the number of guns you own. If you are using them without causing harm to the public, I do not see any problem. Many citizens have collections of antique guns that still need to be registered, even if they are no longer functioning.
I do believe there should be a stricter background checking system when purchasing a gun. A gun has the potential to impact or end a life. With a gun comes great responsibility.
Our nation has in place a universal background check that is supposed to keep guns away from the mentally unstable or criminals who have lost their Second Amendment rights. These background checks are required any time someone buys a gun from a registered dealer.
The catch is this background check is not required for private sales of guns. Buzzfeed News reported that 40 percent of all purchases involving firearms happen in private settings. Thus, the background check is not required. It is important to note that Buzzfeed’s findings are from a study released more than 10 years ago. Since then, some states have issued new laws that extend background checks even to private settings.
Think of it like this: If we have to pass two tests in the state of Pennsylvania in order to receive a driver’s license, why is there not a simple background check on all firearm purchases?
When you are driving an automobile, you are at risk of endangering those around you if you are not competent. If you possess a gun, you are also at risk.
There are rules and regulations in place for the protection and safety of the public. Purchasing a gun should be no different.
Many argue that someone planning on carrying out such a horrific act would find a gun either way, whether that is legal or not. But would we not feel safer as a nation if we knew we had our gun rights as strict as possible? I know I would sleep safer knowing there was some sort of process you had to go through to purchase a firearm.
You could say the same thing about driving illegally. Anyone who wants to drive bad enough will find a way to do so. This is true in almost any aspect in life. There will be extremists who will do anything, no questions asked.
But, for the sake of the safety of the public, we need to do anything in our power to regulate the purchase of guns.
This is not part of a political agenda and President Barack Obama should not be criticized for taking a stand in wanting to change the U.S. In his presidency, Obama has had to address mass shootings on 15 separate occasions, according to TIME magazine.
“The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this,” Obama said in a statement regarding the Oregon shooting.
We have become numb. When I see a notification pop up “shooting at ____” I think to myself, “Are you serious? Again?”
This could happen anywhere, at anytime. Any normal day could turn into a tragedy that is forever remembered as the day a mass shooting took place. When and how did our country turn into this? We need to stand up as a collective whole and work on rebuilding our nation.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer. They are not directly the opinions of The Slate, its staff or Shippensburg University as a whole. Concerns or letters to the editor can be sent to email@example.com.