Friday, October 2, 2015
Chris Harper Mercer
Yesterday, I put up a live stream of the local Roseburg media reporting on the massacre at Umpqua Community college by then-unidentified Chris Harper Mercer. One of the first things I heard was an eye-witness account of how Mercer asked his victims if they were Christian before executing them. Obviously, I suspected that this was an act of jihad by a lone wolf Muslim acting on ISIS's call to carry out acts of terror in the US.
I then decided to follow the news reports but refrain from any further writing until some of the facts came out. No sense jumping to conclusions which later might turn out to be wrong, I figured.
There is still a lot to be sorted out about the motivations of Mercer, clearly a troubled young man who had to be put in special education or special needs classes because of his emotional issues.
At this point, it appears he ascribed to no religion and had issues with organized religion. One thing that has led to a lot of speculation was his My Space page, which showed him holding a rifle along with some references to the Irish republican Army. Of the two individuals also pictured on his site, one was a young man with a Muslim name ( I will not put that up) who had expressed some pro-Jihad sentiments online. Aside from that we have no indication that Mercer was himself a Muslim. I certainly hope not. But did he sympathize with the on-going jihad and persecution against Christians at the hands of ISIS? We will have to await further investigation. Even if it turns out that he was a convert and this was an act of Jihad, we must-as always- be careful not to blame innocent Muslims here or retaliate against them.
As for President Obama's brief talk before the nation about the incident, if you are a supporter of strong gun laws, you must have loved his emotional and angry tirade. By his own admission, he turned the talk into a political statement about the need to pass stricter gun laws. he even counseled us to vote for candidates (Democrats) who would support his agenda. He made statements that were patently false. he said that states that had strong gun laws had fewer cases of gun violence. Really? This is a man who comes from Chicago. Illinois has strong gun laws, so why all the carnage in Chicago? There were ten dead in Roseburg, Oregon yesterday, but more than that were killed the previous weekend in Chicago alone. Take other cities like, Detroit, Washington DC. They also have strong gun laws. California has strong gun laws, but look at the shootings in Los Angeles.
Keep in mind that this is the same president who has presided over Operation Fast and Furious, whereby ATF actually watched as some 2,000 guns were being bought by suspected straw purchasers and smuggled into Mexico with no enforcement aim other than to document the serial numbers when they showed up at Mexican shooting scenes and thereby prove that most of the guns used by the cartels in Mexico originate in the US. That has been accompanied by a massive cover-up with then Attorney General Eric Holder perjuring himself (in my view) before Congress on more than one occasion. Not to raise the Muslim issue again, but this is the same president who is about to unload some 100,000 "Syrian refugees" on US cities and towns regardless of the stated inability to adequately screen them for terrorist ties plus the documented statement by ISIS that they will infiltrate their men into the West in order to carry out attacks. Do you really think this president is trying to keep our streets safe? Mark my words, there will be one or more terrorist attacks (or some thwarted by the FBI) at the hands of some of these "refugees".
As for the guns, this is a complicated issue, and I respect the basic argument of the gun control crowd. Yes, we have to take the guns out of the hands of certain people like Mr Mercer and the gangs. However, the problem is that we have literally millions of guns out there and many of them are in the wrong hands. The solution is not to keep guns out of the hands of the responsible law-abiding people who want to protect their homes, families and selves. Sorry, but this is the kind of society we live in. Yesterday, courageous cops responded to the scene and shot Mercer dead. But it was too late to save ten people. That's the way these things happen. Until the cops can get there, we are on our own. Yet, here was this school official defending their policy of having a no-gun zone with one unarmed security guard checking doors, I guess.
So what is my solution?
I am not really against background checks, but even if you deny a criminal the ability to buy a gun in a gun store, he is going to get it on the street anyway.
Crimes committed with guns must be met with sentencing as harshly as possible. We are not enforcing the laws we have. Also keep in mind that states like California are turning thousands of criminals back on the streets in the name of eliminating prison overcrowding. I think we need to "invest" ( Don't you just love that liberal word?) money into building more prisons. It is either that, turn the prisoners loose, or let them sleep on top of each other (which they do anyway).
In addition, there are a lot of retired military and law enforcement people out there we could hire as security guards. I admit that it has come to the point where virtually every school in the country is a potential target. Can we put enough armed guards in all of them? Of course not, but security has to be improved.
There is no easy, cure-all solution. We have a dangerous society that cannot be compared to places like Japan, Australia or Europe, notwithstanding Obama's naive statements to the contrary. We have to decide how much we want to live in safety and whether we are prepared to do what it takes and spend what it takes to achieve it.