Chris Harper Mercer killed at least 10 people and injured seven yesterday at Umpqua Community College. And he hated religion.
From the Los Angeles Times:
In one of the deadliest of a series of school shootings that have become violently familiar across the U.S., a gunman opened fire at a community college in southwestern Oregon on Thursday morning, leaving at least 10 dead and injuring seven more before dying in an exchange of gunfire with police.I agree with Hanlin. The victims and their families deserve attention. For them, this latest mass murder isn't just another abstract story occupying the headlines. Their suffering and grief will last. It won't be kicked aside when the next media obsession comes along.
The massacre at Umpqua Community College in this rural lumber town began when the attacker stormed Snyder Hall and started firing. He was armed with three handguns and an assault rifle, a law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times.
...The gunman was identified by a law enforcement official as Chris Harper Mercer, a resident of Oregon. Mercer, 26, formerly lived in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County and has relatives in the San Fernando Valley, according to another law enforcement source.
Mercer is not believed to be connected to the college at this time, the first official said, either as a student or staff member. The gunman’s motive "is not immediately clear," he said.
Authorities have provided no details about the suspect. In a brief evening news conference, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the gunman’s official identification would come from the medical examiner’s office.
Hanlin was vehement in his resolve never to say the shooter’s name – a stance that has grown increasingly common among those touched by mass shootings.
“Let me be very clear,” the sheriff said before heading to a vigil for the victims. “I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit he probably sought.”
Hanlin predicted accurately that “media will get the name confirmed in time.” But he said in no uncertain terms that “you will never hear me use his name.... We encourage you to not repeat it. We encourage you not to glorify and create sensationalism for him. He in no way deserves this. Focus your attention on the victims and the families and helping them.”
Without question, nothing about Mercer should be glorified in any way.
Mercer wanted a moment in the media limelight, and he's getting it.
But the reason his name is known is because he is scum. Mercer committed an evil act. He slaughtered innocent people, in cold blood.
I think, as a society, we all should focus on these killers and define them as the scum that they are, and label them as evil people to be condemned and scorned.
The New York Times reports that a witness to the shootings said Mercer asked about people's religion before he began firing.
Kortney Moore, 18, from Rogue River, told the Roseburg newspaper, The News-Review, that the gunman had asked people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing. She said she saw her teacher shot in the head, adding that she herself was on the floor with people who had been shot.So Mercer hated organized religion.
From the Daily Beast:
The 26-year-old gunman showed a disdain for organized religion online, then allegedly asked victims about their faith before shooting them.From the Washington Times:
...An online dating profile, linked to Harper-Mercer’s email address and featuring another photo of him, says the 26-year-old was living with his parents and searching for the “yin to my yang.” It identifies his views as “conservative, republican” and lists “organized religion” as one of his “dislikes.”
...According to a student at Umpqua, Mercer demanded to know his victims’ religion before killing them.
...Lithium_Love was another online identity linked to Harper-Mercer’s email address. Under this username, he posted on torrent upload sites, sometimes asking people to donate to his email address to support the file-sharing work.
In a blog linked to that identity, Harper-Mercer expressed admiration for Roanoke shooter Vester Flanagan.
People “like him have nothing left to live for,” Harper-Mercer wrote on August 31. “On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all 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 the more people you kill, the more you're in the limelight.”
The father of a student wounded in Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, said his daughter told him that gunman Chris Harper Mercer specifically targeted Christians.Is it time for a national discussion on the persecution of Christians?
Before going in for spinal surgery, Anastasia Boylan told her father Stacy Boylan that everyone in her classroom dropped to the ground when Mercer entered the room firing his handgun, hitting a professor and others, CNN reported. While reloading, Mercer told students to stand up if they were Christians, she said.
“And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,’” Stacy Boylan told CNN, relaying his daughter’s account. “And then he shot and killed them.”
I didn't hear Obama call for soul-searching to be done by Christian mockers and haters.
I didn't hear Obama demand that believers be protected. I didn't hear Obama demand that we enact new laws to protect Christians.
Not on his agenda, apparently.