In the aftermath of the massacre on the campus of Umpqua Community College, Americans are again debating the effectiveness of crime-fighting measures such as improved background checks and gun control laws.
I remember going to school in the days and weeks immediately following Columbine. I was in high school in Beech Grove, Indiana. The shooting came as a shock, a wake up call for the nation and we thought, a way for my generation to begin to make it right.
When it comes to guns, what teachers should carry isn't a weapon -- it's the weight of the debate. Teachers must at least have more courage than Congress. At least let the kids study the issue.
There are many pieces to this complex puzzle but another important place for prevention is within our schools. It should not be overlooked that most of these shootings take place in institutions that house our most vulnerable citizens -- our children
While the pro-death lobby likes to quibble over what constitutes a school shooting or argues that gun violence was even worse a generation ago, it does not change the documented fact that these measures will save lives.
Our latest mass shooting in Oregon - which did NOT occur in a gun-free zone - is just the latest reminder that good guys with guns, as good as their intentions might be, are oftentimes no match for bad guys with guns.
This week, the nation was once again shocked by the everyday, as a gunman killed nine at a community college in Oregon. It's the uniquely American gun paradox: how something so horrifying can be so routine. As a somber -- bordering on disgusted -- President Obama noted: "we've become numb to this." In truth, this actually isn't everyday violence -- it's more than everyday. In the 274 days of 2015, we've had 294 mass shootings. And 986 since Sandy Hook in 2012. The question is, when will our level of disgust be high enough that we do what's needed to lower the body count? "If you think this is a problem," said the president, "then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views." Until that happens, he said, we all bear a share of the blame: "We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction." Will we rise to the challenge?
Regardless of what the constitution may or may not allow, I can live a perfectly happy and safe life without owning a gun. I had that thought today, and it led to another: Maybe it's time to stop talking about rights and start talking about personal rationale.
If you've been entrusted with raising children in a society that is measurably not as safe as it should be, why wouldn't you want to seek ways to make it a better place? I'm not telling my child, the most precious gem of my universe, that there is nothing to be done and that I won't even try. You shouldn't either.
Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration, at least up north here in Portland. It was the day recreational marijuana consumers could make their first legal purchases of marijuana.
How much were you paying attention to the news this week? Find out by taking our latest Week to Week news quiz. Here are some random but real hints: ...
Unfortunately, instead of quality scholarship and policy efforts to map and respond to the risks of guns, we have seen the silencing of gun researchers, health practitioners, and policymakers intent on addressing these problems.
It feels as though there is a gaping hole in our nation's soul. It is time we take a serious look at the epidemic of violence in America, and begin to implement real solutions; they are out there. It's hard to deny that easy access to guns, especially semi-automatics, play a serious role in these mass shooting tragedies in the U.S. How many mass school shootings happen in nations with strict controls on guns? How many mass school shootings happen in the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada each year? None. And yet, our mass shootings in the U.S. continue to rack up. There is certainly a correlation. But there are other important causes at play as well. We must develop social structures and comprehensive strategies that can help bring healing to our communities and build resilience in our society. Can we really afford to wait any longer to do so?
Expect Twitter, Facebook, political blogs, editorial pages and our TV and radio talk shows to demand gun control. That happens every time there's a tragedy like this new one, and the talk always fades.
I think you saw something in my eyes. I believe you noticed something was off and you led with what you, clearly, knew best: kindness.
Call your state senators, your assembly members, your mayors, and your city councils. Tell them that you want to protect your kids. You want to protect your communities. Hell, you want to protect yourself.