Thoughts on the Oregon Shooting

by lewwaters

Little is known about the shooter’s motive from yesterday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College, but some information is filtering out and raises questions.

Naturally, there are those that immediately blame the gun and wish to impose more restrictions of law-abiding gun owners, ignoring that criminals like this shooter ignore all laws and restrictions.

But according to a CNN article today, the shooter has a history of mental health issues and had sought mental health treatment.

From the article we also read, “Investigators found 13 weapons connected to the man who killed nine people at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College,” and “all weapons were legally obtained through a federal firearms dealer during the last three years by the shooter or family members.”

Assuming some were actually purchased by the shooter (I am not using his name following the lead of the Douglas County Sheriff), he would have had to go through a background check, even if purchased at a gun show unless he held a Concealed Carry Permit, which is not being claimed and would also require a background check to hold.

The article also mentions he served just over a month in the U.S. Army at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, a major Basic Training base where I also received Basic Training, but he was discharged for failing to meet the minimum administrative standards to serve in the Army.

My question is, with that sort of history, why doesn’t it show up and raise a red flag in the background checks he would have been required to have in order to legally obtain a weapon?

All too often we hear of calls for background checks to be expanded, but time and again, much needed information is somehow not accessible or included in such a background check.

Is it because they are granted privacy by HIPAA laws?

If so, shouldn’t our focus turn more towards some modification of those laws in order for such red flag history to be included in background checks and increase the effort to deny such people a legal firearm, instead of focusing primarily on the firearm itself?

Considering this shooter, like every other shooter violates and breaks every known law on the books, will another restriction on the gun itself and not increasing what is made available through background checks actually do any good?

I think not.

And no, it is not a cure all to murder. But it might increase the likelihood of keeping guns out of the hands of certain people.

It is also true that it would not stop anyone from obtaining a firearm illegally. That is whole other issue that will also need addressed.

But, knee jerk reactions as seen in a New Republic article where Republicans offering “Condolences and Prayers” is labeled as political strategy to avoid addressing gun control is of absolutely no help and only creates more animus where less is needed.

8 Comments to “Thoughts on the Oregon Shooting”

  1. So very true Lew. I am concerned that medical questions being asked at the doctors could prevent perfectly normal mentally healthy people from having access to guns in the future though under any restructuring of the application process. For instance when I had a doctor’s appointment earlier this year I was asked how I am doing emotionally. Part of the ACA questions. I had literally just had my sister die two weeks before AND been diagnosed myself with the same breast cancer the same time. I answered “How the hell do you think I am doing? I am a bit angry, a lot stressed out and yes of course I am crying right now.” Now my doctors are showing me as having a “history of depression” in my health chart! That is bs as it can get. What no one is ever allowed to cry anymore? We have to tread really lightly on this one Lew.

  2. Leaving it as it is hasn’t helped, Carolyn.

    Modifying wouldn’t necessarily mean every emotion disqualifies someone from buying a gun, that would have to be set according to some fairly stringent standards.

    But if we are going to have background checks, we must have appropriate information included.

    Also needing addressed is possibly stiffer prosecutions on gun crimes.

    There is much we can do besides disarming innocent law-abiding people

  3. Leftists adhere to the Utilitarian political notion of “the greatest good for the greatest number” (a direct repudiation of the political foundation of government as stated in the American Declaration of Independence). Therefore, if X number of lives can be saved by such-and-such, then it’s acceptable to deprive a lesser number of souls of their own individual rights. “For the greater good”. A death by accidental gun discharge is reason enough to deny gun ownership to others, if a larger number of lives can be saved. According to this thinking. If one is beaten, raped or murdered – tough. It’s for the greater good. Call the cops.

    I’ve got no problem with looking at trying to keep guns out of the hands of the deranged. Citizens of all political stripes struggle with this problem. But to me, when Leftists go around saying that “something has to be done”, they mean that government has to prohibit gun ownership. That ought to work as well as prohibiting alcohol, other drugs, or prostitution, for that matter, has ever worked. Which is where my Libertarian leanings, no doubt, diverge from Conservatives. Yet to me, the parallels are unmistakable. Just two sides of the same coin. Establishes a Black Market is all.

  4. I guess I’m a little more cynical than you, Kndalai. I see the effort more as a means to disarm the populace and prevent standing up to a tyrannical government if they ever try to impose more of totalitarian system upon us 😉

    I do agree on keeping guns out of the hands of certain people, but so far, not one thing recommended would accomplish anything to stop illegal guns being obtained by criminals.

    And no, there are way too many guns for them to ever be fully taken out of the hands of citizens. Even in other countries where guns were severely restricted, guns crimes still occur, such as in Australia just today.

  5. I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to, unless you’ve misread my cynicism.

    Could not agree with you more about disarming the populace and accepting totalitarian government. Reliance on a nanny state and Utilitarianism notions of the greater good are both antithetical to one’s “inalienable” rights. Leftist orthodoxy is all about the hive.

  6. More like mis-wording on my part, I’m tired, my daughter and her husband took my wife and me out for a belated Birthday dinner and we all ate too much, as usual 😉

    Sorry Jack, but your comment isn’t approved as I will not link to unsubstantiated claims by blog sites with little credibility.

    Believe was you wish, I will wait for accurate information.

  7. From today’s local PRAVDA on page A7:


    “Two men convicted of murdering five people with a samurai sword and baseball bat are likely to spend the rest of their lives in prison”

    “The men were convicted of killing Shim’s ex-wife, her two children, boyfriend and a NASA scientist in 2008 in a home north of Los Angeles.”

    I’m pretty sure this qualifies as mass murder. If samurai swords are outlawed, only criminals will have samurai swords. What’s a baseball-playing samurai warrior supposed to do anyway?

  8. An interesting graph is has been put out by left leaning Mother Jones showing the “increase” in mass shootings, by their definition, by the way.

    Two things immediately jump out at me.

    1. The largest increase shown is happening under Obama’s watch. Might that have something to do with the division and derision he has sown between the citizens and refusal to stand with the Police and Military as well as supporting thugs over citizens?

    2. The graph is quoted, “Crimes primarily related to gang activity, armed robbery, or domestic violence in homes are not included.” Are they afraid to show the spike there as well, especially in gang activity and Black on Black murders?

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