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Gun Free Zones

October 19, 2015

On October 1, 2015, Christopher Harper-Mercer entered a classroom he attended at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon, fired a shot across the room and began forcing his classmates toward the center of the room.  He would grant one student -- "the lucky one" -- her life in return for delivering a memory stick and other items to the police.  He shot his teacher at point blank range.  During the next few minutes, he deliberately killed eight students and wounded nine more.  

According to one account, “He started pointing out, ‘Hey, you with the glasses, you with the yellow tank top, stand up,’ . . "And when he did all that, he started asking, ‘What is your religion, do you believe in — are you a Christian?’” “And that person would say, ‘Yeah,’ ” she continued. “He said: ‘Good. I’m going to send you to God. You’re going to see God.’ And then he’d just start shooting them.”

Within minutes, police officers arrived and wounded the killer while engaging in a short gun fight.  A few minutes later, the gunman took his own life. These senseless killings left the residents of Union County devastated and reeling.  
With but little time past, the President reacted by calling for Congress and state governments to enact new stronger restrictions on gun controls.  He later spoke, “This is something we should politicize."

The President's comments haven’t been well received by the majority of the residents in Douglas County.  Sixty percent voted for Romney in 2012. The percentage of registered Republicans in the county is about the same. When the President announced a visit to the community, a majority asked him not to come.  Ignoring their wishes, he came anyway and met privately with the victims’ families.  

We disagree with the President’s decision to “politicize” this tragedy.  First politicizing it -- especially right after it happened -- leaves no time for grieving.  Doing so is distasteful and disrespectful.  Although a few local politicians offered a welcoming hand to the President, a majority objected to the politics associated with the visit.  A contingent of over 300 protestors greeted him at the local airport.  

Second, we strongly disagree with the idea of tougher gun laws.  When defenseless victims in “gun-free” zones encounter lawless perpetrators who choose to ignore the gun prohibitions, the defenseless pay the ultimate price.  
The second amendment is about multiple protections including defending freedom against tyranny and defending one’s own well being.  Violent crime becomes rampant when lawlessness rules.  School shootings seem to be the rage to the antisocial who wants to make a name for himself or the otherwise mentally unstable. But there’s one thing they all have in common.  The perpetrators pick targets that won’t fight back (e.g., people who obey the law don’t bring a gun into “Gun Free” zones).  When faced with an armed citizen, they typically kill themselves.  That is why we agree with many police officers who support concealed carry laws.  Gun-free zones are dangerous places for law abiding citizens. 

Bill, Mark and John
















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