A blog on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s site (http://edexcellence.net/articles/the-oregon-college-shooting-a-former-local-journalist-reflects) about the shootings in Oregon resonated with me enough that I shared the link on my Facebook page.
This started a healthy discussion among my Facebook friends about the problems we have with gun control in our country.
According to the Washington Post, the Oregon shooting brings the toll of people killed or injured from mass shootings in 2015 to 294. That’s more people than we’ve had days in the year.
Each shooting brings a similar reaction from me: Oh no, not again.
But the Oregon shooting affected me more viscerally.
Maybe it stays in my thoughts because I visited the area of the senseless tragedy on a recent trip to Oregon.
Maybe because I am an educator and it took place on a college campus, I feel a connection to the victims.
Most likely, I cannot let go because again a shooter took innocent lives. Young people who were trying to learn; trying to improve their lives; trying to fulfill dreams.
I am tired of nothing being done. I am tired of people in effect turning their heads to these terrorist activities by throwing their Second Amendment rights into every conversation. I am tired of cuts to mental health. I am tired of wondering where and when the next shooter will kill the next group of students. I am tired of nothing – I repeat, nothing – being done by those who have the power to do something.
Some on my Facebook post countered that if people on campus had been armed, the end result would have been different.
I don’t know if that is true. But fighting guns by having more guns never made sense to me.
I don’t deny a person’s right to own a gun. Law-abiding citizens are not the problem.
It should be obvious to everyone, however, that something needs to be done. Too many people with mental health issues are able to get a gun. They somehow manage to get many guns.
The answer is not to take guns away from those who are law abiding and have legally obtained guns but to put in place more stringent gun-control measures.
This may mean a "grandfathering" of some sort for what is already here. I wish we could eliminate the selling or trading of guns at gun shows.
To me, smarter laws that provide direction about gun ownership is a human safety issue.
It is time to do something courageous that addresses the problem.