Tragedy in Oregon

by Georgia Logothetis –

The Oregonian:

Enough. That’s all that can be said as the shattered families of Umpqua Community College enter what must be a fugue state of unbelieving. Somehow, some way, Oregonians must rise up and agree that the tragic outcomes in Roseburg – and the hundreds preceding it nationally, some of them here – are not okay. Not good enough. Not even close to meeting threshold for a society whose testimonies of compassion are turning to sanctimony.In the weeks ahead, may Oregon lead itself, and the nation, in reframing and fruitfully conducting the debate about preventing mass shootings. All proposed regulatory schemes must be effective while consistent with the U.S. Constitution. The question must be asked until it is answered: What will it take to be safe?

Michael Davis at the Oregon Statesman Journal:

As President Obama said on Thursday evening, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.” […] Here’s an idea: Maybe instead of fundraisers for new band instruments or football uniforms, school kids should hire lobbyists to look after their interests in Congress and state legislatures. I’d bet the kids lobby could get some attention, if they funneled money to the right candidate.If I sound slightly cynical, I apologize. I’m embarrassed for us as a nation because we are just one big polarized mess right now.

And it doesn’t seem to bother us enough that American kids pay the price with their lives.

More on this tragic story below the fold.

The Washington Post:

Congress — in its cowardly obeisance to the National Rifle Association — refuses to enact sensible gun control laws, including ones backed by a vast majority of Americans, such as bringing gun-show and Internet gun sales into some reasonable regulatory framework. […] This time it was Roseburg, Ore., and, said the county fire marshal, “something like this affects a lot of people.” The same was true in Charleston, S.C.; Lafayette, La.; Newtown, Conn. ; Tucson ; and Blacksburg, Va. How sad it is, and how infuriatingly unnecessary that such tragedy begins to feel so unsurprising.

Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Colleges and universities are different places. They often produce high-stress situations for young people away from home for the first time, often experimenting with alcohol and drugs and sex. Suicides are already too common. And if you introduce firearms into that volatile environment, you are asking for tragedy.As we know, the counter argument will be that the legal presence of firearms on campus will make those facilities safer. But it’s interesting to note that the legislators who will make that argument next year will do so in a gun-free facility, protected by X-ray screeners and heavily armed state police. If they honestly believe that the legal presence of firearms makes people safer, why do they deny themselves that additional safety?

James Fallows at The Atlantic:

There will be more of these; we absolutely know it; we also know that we will not change the circumstances that allow such episodes to recur. I am an optimist about most things, but not about this. Everyone around the world understands this reality too. It is the kind of thing that makes them consider America dangerous, and mad.

The Chicago Sun-Times had penned an editorial focusing on the city’s gun violence:

Chicago Sun-Times front page

The roots of violent crime in America are tangled and deep, but Chicago struggles with a problem less common to other big cities — huge numbers of illegal guns on the street. Our city ranks among the highest in the nation for gun violence, but does not rank high for overall violence or homicides committed without guns. Police here confiscate seven times as many guns per capita than they do in New York.And the people carrying those guns, like drunken drivers in the past, don’t have much cause to worry. In the first three months of this year, the number of people arrested for the illegal possession of a gun shot up by 60 percent, McCarthy tells us, but 75 percent of those people were back on the street by mid-April.

So much for swift and certain justice.

Illegal guns are killing our city, body and soul.

Scott Martelle at The Los Angeles Times:

Yeah, we’ve been here before. Or rather, we’re always here. And to answer my own question, the numbers do matter because each one reflects someone who was just killed or maimed by gunfire. Each number reflects a life that will be mourned, or will be changed, by the actions of (apparently) one person with a gun and a drive to use it to kill others.But the numbers also don’t matter because, within the framework of the nation’s sick approach to gun violence, the dead never seem to count. […] Any minute now you’re going to hear the gun lobby say that this is the wrong time to talk about gun control. But with this steady drumbeat of unconscionable violence, it’s hard to find a quiet moment in which to discuss an issue that ravages our families and communities from coast to coast.

It’s harder still to find political leaders with the will to do much more than press their lips together grimly, send condolences to yet another sudden community of grieving families, then move on. Until the next one.

And there will be a next one. There always is.

That is our communal, and political, failure. And our collective guilt.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Posted By: Keith

Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.

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