Readers React: Oregon shooting: Once again, the terrorists are us

Oregon shooter Chris Mercer

Chris Harper Mercer, who has been identified as the gunman in a shooting rampage at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.



To the editor: Why is the U.S. spending untold billions of dollars worldwide, purportedly to prevent Islamic terrorists from killing Americans here at home? (“Now in that horrible club of schools,” Oct. 2, and “Oregon suspect had ties to L.A. County,” Oct. 2)

It’s not foreign forces who are killing Americans in terrorist attacks here.

We are doing it to ourselves, evidently due to major flaws in our own culture.

The terrorists are us.


We are not, contrary to the political slogan, an exceptional people. Unless the slogan actually means we are an exceptionally violent people.

Kendra Strozyk, Cameron Park


To the editor: When Umpqua Community College President Rita Calvin said that her school had a “no guns on campus policy,” what she really meant to say was that it’s a “no guns on campus for law-abiding students and staff” policy. I suggest that the school’s mascot be the Oregon Sitting Ducks.


Jim Tanksley, Lancaster


To the editor: I continue to be sobered by news stories of horrific shootings. In response to this most recent event, I am inspired by Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who refuses to identify the shooter by name.

In order to deter those looking for a few minutes of fame and notoriety, I ask that you simply refer to these shooters as “John Doe” and offer nothing in the way of pictures or background information.

Mark Schmor, Altadena


To the editor: Another day, another mass slaughter perpetrated by a deranged gunman.

Where’s the outrage? Has our society become so complacent that most folks just yawn every time news of a shooting massacre breaks?


You’d think the legions of self-styled pro-life religious fanatics would be up in arms. Aren’t the lives of mass shooting victims precious too? Or only those of premature fetuses?

Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: How is it possible for this rampage to have happened? After all, Umpqua was a “gun free” zone. But then again, so was Sandy Hook. And Columbine.

Will gun control advocates ever learn that the removal of guns from a location makes it more dangerous, not safer?

The best and only response to an armed bad guy is armed good guys.

Kemp Richardson, Santa Clarita



To the editor: In June, The Times published four letters in the Opinion section expressing outrage at the NRA over the then-latest mass shooting. Mine was one of them.

Here we are again with the Oregon mass shooting. What insanity. Nothing changes.

Futility is the only word to describe the dysfunctional nature of our current society. We accept this horror as the price of inaction.

We are all in mourning for our country.

Joe Bonino, Glendale


To the editor: One path to controlling the public epidemic of mass murder is for state governments to treat firearms like those other killing machines: automobiles.

Simple laws should require gun owners to carry liability insurance and provide proof of same on demand by police.

Instead of government setting up elaborate registration procedures, with attendant political issues, insurance companies would run background checks — at the insured’s expense — and set rates that correspond with the type of firearm, the age and residence of the owner, etc. Insurers might require gun owners to take a gun safety class, or they might refuse to issue policies on certain types of guns.

All of this respects the 2nd Amendment.

Will our elected officials have the courage to pass such laws?

Marvin J. Wolf, Mar Vista Heights


To the editor: The shooting opens up once again the debate about what to do about these horrible acts.

So far, we have left the problem up to law enforcement and politicians to solve, with no success.

We need to recruit psychologists, sociologists, doctors and clergy to find out why some citizens think it’s OK to kill innocent strangers.

Gordon Rudd, Laguna Beach

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