Thursday, October 1, 2015

BREAKING: Shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon

First, a reminder to all readers: initial reports are often light on facts, so everything must be taken with a grain of salt.

It appears about 10 people have been killed in this tragedy, and about 20 more injured. No definite status on the shooter yet; as of this writing, USA Today is saying "The shooter was reported to be dead, according to police," while NBCNews is saying the shooter is "down", and CNN says he's in custody and it's unclear if he's injured.

Pray for the victims and their families.

Then, gear up for the anti-gun legislature to "Do Something!!!" I really hate to put a call for action so soon after a tragedy, but you just know the gun-haters aren't going to wait, so we can't either. It's the unfortunate reality they created, but we live here, too.

I'll attempt to update this post as new, corroborated information comes in.

Hug your families. And stay safe.

[UPDATE 1: 10/1 2:40 PM] It's been confirmed that the shooter, an as-yet-unnamed 20-year-old male, was shot and killed in a shoot-out with law enforcement. The current estimated toll is 13 dead, 20+ wounded. No information yet on the identity of the shooter, the weapon(s) used, where he obtained them, or his affiliation with the school or students therein.

If it's true he was 20 years old, then he's ineligible for a concealed handgun license (CHL); we can discount the possibility that he was carrying the firearm(s) lawfully. It's still possible the firearm(s) was/were purchased legally, but it's too early to know for sure.

The links provided above are continually updating as new information is reported. Simply refreshing those sites will get everything currently available.

Edited to add: particularly chilling, from the USA Today link above (emphasis added):
[18-year-old UCC student Kortney] Moore said she saw her teacher get shot in the head, apparently after the gunman came into the classroom. At that point, Moore told the newspaper, the shooter ordered everyone to get on the ground. The shooter then asked people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing, Moore said.
This may be a clue as to the motive, or it may mean nothing. Too soon to tell. [/UPDATE]

[UPDATE 2: 10/5 9:30 AM] I've been remiss in updating; family matters take precedence, but all's well on the home front.

The shooter's identity has been released, and I'll write it exactly once, and only in the interest of reporting news. After this, we'll be following the Douglas County Sheriff's example so as not to "glorify" his heinous actions. He's been identified as Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26 years old, originally from Torrance, California.

Reportedly (keep refreshing the links above), he has struggled with mental health issues, had an obsession with guns, and described himself as "conservative" and "Not religious, but spiritual" on a dating site. That should be plenty of ammunition for the antis to run with the "gun-loving right-wing extremist" meme for quite a while, despite the fact that he targeted Christians. We'll see how that plays out.

And now that the anti-gun politicians have come out of the woodwork to (rightfully) condemn his actions and (wrongfully) call for more gun laws, it's time to gear up for the political battle. Especially when Obama actually comes out and says mass shootings are something we should politicize. Those killed haven't yet been put to rest, and those injured are still recovering, and he's already calling for action. Despicable, but also why we can't rest or hold back.

Finally, for a bit of inspiration, I heard this over the weekend. You'll recall that the shooter demanded everyone stand up and declare their faith before he opened fire. The bravest person in America — possibly the world — was in that room that day. It was the second person to stand up and say, "I'm a Christian," after the first person was executed for doing just that.

That's something. [/UPDATE]

[UPDATE 3: 10/5 2:55 PM] Via Mike Vanderboegh, we learn that all of the shooter's guns — some sources say 13 total, some say 14 — were purchased legally, with background checks.

I for one am glad to see Senate Bill 941 (that gave us "universal background checks") is doing its job at "keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them", and preventing mass shootings. [/sarcasm] [/UPDATE]


  1. All these mass killings are due to those insensible persons who are having guns in their hands. They don't even care about the punishment that they are going to get after killing others. The training institutes must be careful while providing licenses to the trainees. Those who seems to be mentally unfit and don't have the moralities should not be given the gun license, as having gun means that they have the power to control others survival on earth too. You can visit the Boston Firearm Training Center and see how they train the people.
    Mass License To Carry Class

    1. The people committing these mass killings almost invariably commit suicide as soon as they're confronted by armed responders, whether law enforcement or private citizens. Of course they don't care about any punishment; they plan to not face it!

      I don't know about Boston or Massachusetts, but in Oregon, "training institutes" don't provide licenses. They provide training and a signed certificate that says an person has completed that training. The county sheriffs' offices provide the licenses after verifying identity, proof-of-training (the certificate from the trainers), background check (including fingerprints and references), and fees.

      I'm curious: How do you propose the sheriffs issuing CHLs (Concealed Handgun Licenses) are to know who among the applicants are "mentally unfit" or "don't have the moralities" without being clairvoyant?

      No offense, but I'm filing this comment under "Troll" unless that question is answered.