Tag Archive: school shooting

Possible prosecution in Umpqua shooting


There’s not a lot of detail on this story but OregonLive.com is reporting that criminal prosecution is being considered in the wake of the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Since the gunman took the coward’s way out the question is who are they considering prosecuting? I can’t say for certain but if I had to take a guess I would imagine it would be the relatives of Chris Harper-Mercer who allowed him to have their guns. Out of the 13 guns that were in his possession a few of them belonged to relatives. Not to mention that his mother was stockpiling her own arsenal.

While I respect the 2nd Amendment, guns aren’t something that should just be lent out to people like letting your neighbor borrow a hammer for a while.

There have not been 47 school shootings this year


Once again, much like last year, headlines are making the rounds gain exaggerating the numbers of how many school shootings there have been this year. This year the number being tossed around is that there have been 47 school shootings this year and the stat has been brought to us by the same people who made the equally ridiculous claim last year of 74 school shootings since Newtown.

The ABC article I linked to doesn’t even try to hide the fact that the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety has exaggerated the numbers…

Of those shootings, 26 were classified as attacks that resulted in injury or death.

The 21 remaining shootings were a mix of attempted or completed suicides, accidental shootings or instances in which a gun was fired at campus, including grade schools and colleges, but no one was injured.

It seems like to me that Everytown for Gun Safety is once again using the loosest definition of school shooting. I almost want to say they consider every shooting that was within one square mile of a school was considered a school shooting.

While I’m not trying to lessen the impact of these other shootings and the pain that they’ve cost there has really only been one school shooting this year that fits my definition and that was the one at Umpqua Community College. As I’ve said before my definition of a school shooting is when a student or outsider storms a school with guns with the express purpose of killing as many victims as possible. Suicide attempts, parking lot confrontations and shootings that take place off of campus are not school shootings and to report them as such is not only irresponsible journalism but it’s also fear mongering.

When media presents statistics from a biased source as fact it’s done only for the sake of sensationalism and pageviews. Don’t just read the headline and think you have all the facts. The devil, as they say, is always in the details.

The police who stopped the UCC gunman


A lot of police have been getting a bad rap in the past year or so. A lot of it is definitely deserved but police who save lives should receive just as much if not more attention than those who are the bad apples.

For example take Sgt. Joe Kaney and Det. Todd Spingath of the Roseburg, Oregon, police department. They are the ones who disabled the Umpqua Community College gunman before he took his own life and they rushed into action with little regard for their own safety.

The two plain-clothes police veterans ran toward the gunfire without hesitation, even though they were not wearing bullet-proof vests and had no idea how soon more backup would arrive.

And when the gunman started firing at them, Kaney and Spingath did not stop until they stopped him.

Without these brave men there could have been many more deaths and injuries.

Men and women like this who put their lives on the line in a thankless job to protect the public need to be better recognized for their actions.

On Asperger’s and Umpqua


If Chris Harper-Mercer didn’t take the coward’s way out after the shooting at Umpqua Community College I imagine his defense would have been one of two things, either bullying or Asperger’s. In the 15 years I’ve been writing about school shootings those seem to be the two most popular scapegoats for those looking to escape their responsibility for school violence. As I’ve said before Asperger’s doesn’t make people into killers. Asperger’s does not cloud your sense of right and wrong or what’s legal and what is not. Many Asperger’s patients are successful well-adjusted people. Unfortunately Harper-Mercer was not one of those people and his mother doesn’t seem to be one either.

Not only did Harper-Mercer allegedly have Asperger’s but so does his mother, Laurel Harper. Asperger’s patients can obsess over a hobby; for the Harpers their obsession was with guns. Ms. Harper was of the belief that the government would revoke the 2nd Amendment any day now and is said to have stockpiled firearms. For those of you who may be of the same mind it takes a two-third majority vote of both houses to amend the Constitution. The last time that happened was 20 years ago and that concerned the salaries of congressmen so you know that would pass with no problem. So in short, Obama ain’t comin’ for yer guns. Harper and her son really seem to have the Nancy/Adam Lanza vibe going on. She should probably consider herself lucky that her son didn’t kill her.

The problem with a lot of Asperger’s patients is that they’re self-diagnosed. These people are usually just anti-social jerks hiding behind the Autism spectrum to blame other people for their problems. I really have to wonder if that’s the case here.

Donation pages for the victims of the Umpqua Community College Shooting


The following are the GoFundMe pages for many of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting. Some are survivors and unfortunately too many are not. All their families need assistance with various costs stemming from the shooting. Please consider donating. Any help they can receive would go a long way in helping not only the victims and their families heal but would help heal the Roseburg community as well.

Ana Boylan, 18 – Survivor
Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, 16 – Survivor
Chris Mintz, 30 – Chris was the man who threw himself in front of the gunman to protect others. On his GoFundMe page he asks that before you donate to him consider helping the other victims first.
Julie Woodworth, 19, you can read the extent of Julie’s injuries here.
Amber McMurtrey, 34 – Survivor
Rand McGowan, 18 – Survivor

Rebecka Carnes, 18, deceased.
Lucero Alcaraz, 19, deceased.
Quinn Cooper, 18, deceased.
Kim Dietz, 59, deceased.
Treven Anspach, 20, deceased.
Jason Johnson, 34, deceased.
Sarena Moore, 44, deceased, does not have a donation page as far as I know but this article needs to be read to see just how much of a coward the gunman really was.

There’s also the UCC Relief Fund through the United Way.

If you know of any more donation pages for the victims please let me know and I will have them added.

Why the Umpqua shooter’s manifesto should be released


During the Umpqua Community College shooting the gunman, Chris Harper-Mercer, is said to have spared one victim in order to hand them a manifesto to be made public. While the complete details of the manifesto have not yet been made public it’s been leaked that Harper-Mercer allegedly bemoaned that he wasn’t too successful with the ladies. I’ll be getting into his lack of social skills in a future post.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has gone on record saying that he will not mention the gunman by name

Roseburg’s anonymity campaign — appearing in hashtags like #dontsayhisname — has been driven in part by Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who told reporters, “You will never hear me say his name.”

Hanlin reportedly does this in order to avoid giving undeserving fame to the shooter. I disagree with him on this point, but I digress.

It stands to reason that since Hanlin won’t name the killer he may not ever release the killer’s manifesto to the public. I think this is a mistake and the manifesto should be made public.

Several years ago a U.S. District Judge ordered depositions given by the parents of the Columbine shooters were to be kept sealed in the National Archives until 2028. Similarly former Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink had the infamous Basement Tapes destroyed in 2011 without notifying any kind of media. It wasn’t until earlier this year that anyone knew that the tapes had been destroyed. In both instances both decisions were made in order avoid any more copycat shootings. Unfortunately that has not been the case. Instead of having knowledge of how the gunmen acted and planned we have myths and legends born out of ignorance that some have used in order to stage their own killings.

Knowledge is power and the more knowledge we have about how mass murderers like this act and think the better chance we have of stopping the next possible shooting.

Oikos University gunman declared competent to stand trial

One Goh

One Goh

The last time we heard anything about Oikos University gunman One Goh he had been ordered to a state psychiatric hospital after being declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for gunning down seven people at the small religious Oakland college. Recently the state hospital has declared Goh mentally competent to stand trial. His attorney is appealing and a hearing on Goh’s competence has been scheduled for November.

Goh was previously enrolled at the school and went on his killing spree after being expelled from the school and perceived bad treatment from other students. However Goh himself was said to be an anti-social troll would be verbally abusive to women and would go and pick fights.

Goh would have been eligible for the death penalty if it wasn’t found unconstitutional in California last year.

The insignificance of the Umpqua Community College shooter


I guess we have to talk about the shooting at Umpqua Community College. I almost didn’t want to. When I first saw the headline that there had been a school shooting with nine dead I literally could not believe it. I had to double-check the headline to make sure I wasn’t misreading it. I thought maybe I was having a bad dream. I just didn’t want to believe it this time. When it finally registered that it did happen it threw me into a deep depression. I’d like to say that I waited almost week before posting about it because I wanted to wait to get all the pertinent information but 24-48 hours is usually sufficient for that. Instead I just kept putting it off because I was too depressed. I’m not trying to make this story about me but if the next few posts about the shooting feel disjointed that’s why.

Before we get started though let’s take some time to remember the victims.


Starting at top left Lucas Eibel, 18, Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, Professor Lawrence Levine, 67, Lucero Alcaraz, 19, Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, Jason Dale Johnson, 34, and Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18.

I know I don’t have to rehash the details but for the record 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing the nine victims listed above.

What I wanted to talk about in this post is something that the gunman allegedly posted in a 4chan thread where he reportedly announced his intention to commit a school shooting.

The first 4chan post

The first 4chan post

Later on in the thread he reportedly said the following

“This is the only time I’ll ever be in the news. I’m so insignificant,” read an apparent post by the would-be Oregon gunman.

It’s my contention that he’s still insignificant and always will be. In a few months time his name will be forgotten to most everyone living outside of Roseburg.

For example do you remember the shootings at Red Lake High School or NIU? Nine people were killed at Red Lake and five at NIU? Now, can you remember the names of the gunmen off the top of your head? Chances are that you can’t. I took to my personal Facebook to ask my friends if they could name either one of the gunmen. Out of all the people who responded only two people could name either one of them. One is a former columbiner and the other is another crime blogger.

In another one of his online posts he went on about his admiration for Roanoke news gunman Vester Flanagan

“I have noticed that so many people like [Flanagan] are alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems like the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.”

Except you’re only in the supposed limelight for the briefest of times. In the history of man you won’t even be a footnote. I had even completely forgotten Flanagan’s name until it was brought back up by the most recent shooting. Let’s examine that a little more. So Harper-Mercer was supposedly influenced by Flanagan. In turn Flanagan was influenced by the Virginia Tech and Columbine gunmen. So in Harper-Mercer we have a copy of a copy of a copy. It’s hard to be significant when you’re just another clone.

Speaking of copies Harper-Mercer is said to have asked some of his victims what religion they were. This harkens back to a Columbine trope where one of the gunmen there allegedly asked victim Cassie Bernall if she believed in God before shooting her. That’s been repeated in at least one other school shooting so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where this loser got it from.

Hell, this isn’t even Roseburg’s first school shooting. There was a shooting at Roseburg High School back in 2006. Like most school shooters if this assclown had an original thought it would die of loneliness. Also like most shooters this is just another self-absorbed and entitled asshole who thought the world owed him fame and everything else and instead of owning up to his own failures he blamed everyone else. Also just like every other clone who came before him he took the coward’s way out. It’s difficult to be significant when you’re just another copy.

If you want to be significant do something great with your life, Volunteer, write, paint, sing, become a first responder, enlist in the military, do something with your life that earns you the privilege of being remembered. Mass violence and suicide are nothing more than weak cop-outs.

Does the media glorify killers with history?


In the wake of the tragic loss of life at Umpqua Community College the debate has stirred up again whether or not naming the killers is giving them the fame that they craved. As I’ve said in a previous blog post I believe that the killers should be named so they don’t become more legend than statistic. However there is something that most media outlets use usually on the heels of such a crime that does more damage than naming the killers and that’s the ‘timeline’.

It never fails after a mass shooting like this. Just about every known part of the media will publish the list of the past mass shootings in this country, usually using Columbine as a starting point.

Here’s an example of some of the headlines I received in the days after the tragedy in Roseburg, Oregon.

“Recent history of mass shootings in the United States”

“Tragic List: The Deadliest Mass Shootings in US History”

“The worst school shootings in American history”

“142 school shootings since Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn” (Trench’s note: That stat is grossly overblown, I posted about this last year when the number was claimed to be 74)

“In the wake of Oregon massacre, here are 11 of the bloodiest school shootings since Columbine”

“Major school shootings in US since 1999”

“Factbox: Major shootings in the United States”

“5 Deadliest Mass School Shootings in Oregon”

“A look at the history of high-profile shootings in the Pacific Northwest”

“Deadliest shootings on or near U.S. college campuses”

“Timeline: Deadliest school shootings since Columbine”

“A look at major school shootings that have erupted in the US over the past decade”

“A look at deadliest shootings on or near US college campuses”

And so on.

These timelines are not only unnecessary but just lazy journalism. They’re used in out post Buzzfeed society to garner pageviews and anyone with a half a brain already knows that there is a crisis of violence in our country unmatched by any other Western society. We don’t need a constant reminder of every singe tragedy and every single loser who perpetrated it. When you do that it’s my opinion that the killers are then being glorified by posting these ‘hall of fame’ lists.

The only place I found that used the timeline concept wisely was the Washington Post who posted a list of the victims who should be remembered rather than the monsters who killed them.

Idaho school district bought guns in case of school shooting

And not one of these either. Get it? Because Idaho.

And not one of these either. Get it? Because Idaho.

All joking aside the Garden Valley School District in Idaho has purchased an undisclosed amount of firearms and are have said to have trained six of their staff in case a school shooting were to happen there. While I do support the 2nd amendment this is not a good idea.

First off the article states that it takes 45 minutes for police to get to the school which would be a somewhat reasonable argument however when I looked up the schools on Google Maps this is what I found.


Granted I don’t live even remotely close to Garden Valley so if I have the wrong location or the police department is only an annex station by all means correct me.

But what it really comes down to is two things. The first is unless they served in the military or in law enforcement there’s no amount of training that can prepare school employees for an active shooter situation unless they continue to undergo ongoing training and even then there’s still no guarantee that armed teachers would cause more good than harm. Secondly, and this is the most important part, if there are guns in a school, no matter how secure they may be, it can become a temptation for would be shooters from within the school. If a kid is determined enough, and we’ve seen some abnormally determined kids over the years, they will find their way to the guns come hell or high water.