“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough”

Chris Harper-Mercer walked into Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon with six guns. Upon entering the classroom, he shot the professor point blank. He fired several shots at the class. Mercer demanded students that were Christian to stand up. He pointed his weapon at them and told them it was good that they were Christian, because they were about to see God. He killed them.

Lucero Alcaraz.
Quinn Glen Cooper.
Kim Saltmarsh Dietz.
Lucas Eibel.
Jason Dale Johnson.
Lawrence Levine.
Sarena Dawn Moore.
Treven Taylor Anspach.
Rebecka Ann Carnes.

These are the names of the nine people that were killed by Mercer. Seven others were injured. During his presidency, Barack Obama has had to address the nation 15 different times pertaining to gun massacres.

People who were simply going to a movie, getting their hair done, running a marathon, pursuing their education or attending church are now dead. America is not willing to address the disgusting problem we have.
America has become numb to this violence. There is a systematic chain of events for emotional destruction such as this. News reports will break out about another mass shooting. The number of deaths will slowly rise. Families will come forward with broken hearts and pictures of their loved ones, their brothers, their children. Politicians will debate about gun violence and the ties to mental health. The president will speak out for the sixteenth, seventeenth, or eighteenth time in his terms about how this is not normal.

President Barack Obama came out for his routine speech on Thursday. “I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president, to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances, but based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that. And that’s terrible to say. It can change.”
What is wrong with America? What is the sickness that has swept over this nation?

Guns.

The United States is roughly 5% of the world’s population. America also holds 42% of the world’s private firearms.

Do you see the connection?

Unfortunately, America has become normalized to this grotesque violence. We don’t have to take all of the guns away, but we can definitely make some changes.

“It’s my right to own a gun. It says so in the Constitution.”

The second amendment was created hundreds of years ago. Back in the day, America was a new country. There was a fear that the United States would be invaded, like Britain was. Of course it would make sense that everyone was entitled to own a gun.

Our founding fathers would have no idea what guns would turn into. If you’ve ever gotten hold of a flintlock pistol, it’s obvious that they aren’t as advanced as an AR-15. The pistol takes about 20+ seconds to load and shoot, if you’ve practiced. When gunpowder gets wet, it’s effectively useless.

An AR-15 can fire 700-900 rounds a minute (fully automatic version). Compare that to the 1776 muskets and flintlocks that could fire three rounds a minute if used by a regular shooter.

According to Rolling Stone, the Oregon shooting is the 264th mass shooting of the year. (A mass shooting is described as having a minimum of four gunshot victims, excluding the shooter.)

Numbers and statistics speak for themselves.

That’s the problem, and Barack is right.

It can change.

Written by Samantha Davenport

Executive editor for The Northern Light. For any questions, please email me at [email protected]

2 Comments

  • Chistina Stauffer on

    I’m a transplanted Alaskan and I value and admire my neighbors. But guns have become a sickness in the US and Alaskans are part of the problem if they value their guns more than human lives. Yes, we need to be able to defend ourselves in Alaska against nature. But, outside of Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Mat-Su valley….we largely don’t have crime. People might feel the need to have guns to defend themselves. We have bears and moose, so…we might feel a need to defend ourselves. But the first thing I remember after moving here in 2002 was that a church reverend was exonerated for shooting two thieves in the back as they were running away. And this….in Alaska….is Christ’s way? Alaskans need top do more than a little soul searching. I’m happy to live here and happy that Alaskans, generally, are live and let live….but one has to wonder. Would Alaska’s pioneers have tamed this state without guns or are humans…especially Alaskans….only as strong as our high tech weapons and not so impressive after all?

  • Joe Sandstrom on

    My heart breaks for families and people who lost loved ones in these shootings. There are many sad and horrific things that happen in the world. I agree that something needs to change or these will continue, However, I disagree on the plan of action.

    Let’s think about this logically.
    Where do a great deal of these mass shootings occur? School campuses.

    What are two properties of school campuses that might cause this? A huge number of people concentrated in one place and (usually) a ban of no guns on the premises.

    What does this mean? These places are what people refer to as big “soft” target. Criminals know that they can go there and no law-abiding citizen will be able to defend themselves because the law says they are not permitted to have a gun. Do these mass-shooters obey guns laws? Of course not!

    What is the only solution? Give law-abiding citizens the permission to carry guns. If “gun free” zones no longer exist, criminals intent on committing mass murder will think twice or get taken out as soon as they fire the first shot.

    I am sadden that you have such a low opinion of the constitution. It doesn’t matter if it is a an ancient pistol or an AK-47, Americans have the Constitutional right to own guns to protect themselves.

    Is the freedom of speech or freedom of religion outdated? Just because there are new religions and people are saying things that the Founders would have never thought of doesn’t mean that that part of the constitution is outdated. However, I build my case that if you think the 2nd Amendment is out of date because there are new guns on the market, that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are out of date because there are radical new opinions and new religions that exist today.

    “Those who are willing to forfeit liberty for security will have neither.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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