Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Umpqua College and gun control

Shortly after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, people began to line up to again debate “gun control”. President Obama blamed the mass killings on guns and called for stricter gun control. Among other things, he said, “I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save these lives and let these people grow up.” On the other hand, Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America blamed “gun-free zones”. He said that almost all of public shootings since 1950 have occurred in “gun-free zones” (which Umpqua is, though some have incorrectly claimed it is not).

There are elements of truth in the arguments of both sides. Nevertheless, we must be somehow missing the core issue, which is something wrong with the shooter. No doubt he broke many existing laws in his crime spree and didn't care about any of them. And while there are problems with creating zones where folks cannot well defend themselves, there are many “gun-free zones” (so far) where no one has been killed. Anger, hatred, violence, moral collapse are in play. I don't have the answers, but I wonder whether we are even asking the right questions.

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