Umpqua shooting raises questions about gun control

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Fair Use Image courtesy of Lower Columbia College

Lower Columbia College take a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting on Oct. 1. SPA's Student Political Union has been discussing the event and the nation's response. “We [SPU] should definitely continue to discuss it and try our best to inform people on what is going on,” sophomore Numi Katz said.

Mari Knudson, Cover Story Editor

The rural town of Roseburg, Oregon was left devastated after a gunman killed nine people and wounded nine others at Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1. The shooter, 26 year old Christopher Harper-Mercer, was a student at the college. After arriving late to his morning writing class, Harper-Mercer opened fire, holding the class hostage until police arrived on the scene about 15 minutes later. Harper-Mercer died on scene from self-inflicted gun wounds.

“I was completely appalled that something as horrible as this could happen,” sophomore Numi Katz said. “It’s wrong that massacres like these are considered as simply another facet of our society, another byproduct of laws and regulations.”

The Umpqua incident had the second largest amount of casualties of any shooting that occurred on or near a college campus, next to the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 with 32 deaths. The shooter appeared to be targeting Christians, reportedly asking victims if they were Christian before shooting them. The incident reignited debate over the level of gun control in America, with President Obama pushing for expanded gun control in a speech hours after the shooting.

It’s wrong that massacres like these are considered as simply another facet of our society”

— sophomore Numi Katz

Katz is a member of St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s Student Political Union, members of which have been discussing the events at Roseburg and debating how the country should respond.

“We discussed the Oregon shooting in conjunction with broader gun control regulation briefly at our last meeting […] the general opinion was that the system we have in place is deeply flawed and the government should be taking steps to fix it,” Katz said.

SPU has encouraged discussions among the broader student community by posting a question about the Umpqua shooting on the student opinion board.

“We [SPU] should definitely continue to discuss it and try our best to inform people on what is going on,” Katz said.