This past week we had another mass shooting – this time at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Next time – and there will be a next time – it may happen in your neighborhood.
Our hearts are sad and broken for those killed and wounded there just as our hearts were sad after Sandy Hook and Tucson and Aurora and our hearts will be sad and broken next time.
It’s always interesting to read what some people say are solutions to the mass shooting epidemic in the United States.
“If this place was not a gun-free zone…”
“If someone would have been carrying a concealed weapon…”
“If we had stronger gun laws…”
“If we had fewer gun laws…”
“If they would have had armed security…”
The most ridiculous comment about the shooting in Roseburg comes from Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush who said:
I had this challenge as governor, ’cause we had, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.
Bush is not ready to be President.
Before the “righties” start clicking to leave this page because they think The Western Word is anti-gun, let me remind you that I currently own several guns and carried one for a living for several years. I could shoot the wing off a mosquito at a hundred yards. I was an expert shooter in the military. I’ve had a loaded gun pointed at me in anger, and I’ve been involved in an active shooter situation.
I don’t belong to the NRA or any other gun rights organization or any anti-gun organization. I’m independent.
I do like what President Obama said in his press conference right after the mass shooting. This issue does need to be politicized. It does need to be talked about. Before you allow the media and others to interpret what the President said, read his total statement HERE.
We do need to hear what other candidates say about guns, mass shootings, and “stuff.” We do need to have a national dialogue about this issue that is taking too many lives. All opinions need to be welcome. We need to find a solution – if there is one.
We do spend millions each year to keep us safe from terrorism, but more people have been killed in mass shootings from 2001-2013. (Source)
As for all those “solutions” above that I read on Facebook, Twitter and in media reports, here are some of my thoughts:
-Unless the place designated as a “gun-free zone” has armed security to protect people and metal detectors, I am against gun-free zones.
-Concealed weapons. There are people I know who are authorized to carry concealed weapons that I would not trust to chew gum and walk at the same time. I could envision a shoot-out between the good guys if everyone was carrying.
-Law-abiding people obey gun laws. Criminals do not. We don’t need fewer gun laws, and I don’t see the need for more gun laws.
Here are two easy solutions:
-Many of these shooters were known (by family or friends) to be a little weird or have issues. We need to have a national hotline or let it be known that it’s OK to call 911 to report someone acting suspicious or making comments on social media about harming someone or some group. We need to make it easier to report people who have mental illness.
-Public places (malls, theaters, schools, etc.) where many people are in attendance need to have visible armed security.
We need to “Just Say No” to mass shootings. We are the United States of America – we have faced bigger problems and prevailed. Working together we can stop many of these senseless killings.
Have some ideas? The Western Word’s comment section is open!