By Gabrielle Peearanda
The town of Roseburg, Oregon made international headlines when a shooter opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1.
Nine killed, nine injured and another American community left to deal with the effects of a mass shooting.
As news of the shooting spread, colleges and universities across the nation have shown their support for UCC. Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya Coley lowered flags to half-staff in honor of the victims.
“Joining with the larger academic community and the country, we mourn for the nine individuals who lost their lives, the nine wounded and an entire community devastated by violence,” said Coley in email to all CPP affiliates.
In a live statement to the nation, President Obama expressed his condolences to the victims’ loved ones and his exasperation at having to make another statement in response to a mass shooting.
“I felt his pain,” said third-year apparel merchandising and management student Pachet Bryant, who was moved to tears after learning of the shooting. “I felt his frustration because we can do something about this, but nothing gets done.”
Obama’s address to the nation also stirred controversy. In his statement the president combatted his opponents’ reasons for inhibiting progress on creating stricter gun legislation. The shift from grief to policy in his statement made news in its own right, although Obama did predict that he would be criticized for “politicizing” the massacre.
“I don’t think health and public safety are political issues per se,” said Jason Turcotte, assistant professor at the Department of Communication. “It becomes ‘politicized’ because there’s partisan disagreement about gun control.”
Stacy McGoldrick, assistant professor at the Department of Psychology and Sociology, shared a similar opinion and deemed Obama’s “politicization” as something to be expected from a political figure.
“When you are the president, people expect you to have a plan and solution to these problems,” said McGoldrick. “He was saying, ‘Here’s a problem, and here’s what I’d like to do about it.’ I think the criticism is that he was being crass, but I think people would want to hear that he has a plan.”
Though saddened by the news, McGoldrick said she was “not surprised” by the shooting at UCC and asks how anyone can be surprised considering the frequency of these incidents.
On the day of the Roseburg shooting, there had already been 294 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015 alone. Since then, two more have occurred in Maryland and Florida bringing the total to 297, according to the website Mass Shooting Tracker.
Courtesy of Google
Umpqua Community College
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