NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

At least ten shot dead at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon; more injured

Gun vio­lence has once again left dozens of peo­ple dead and wound­ed at a place of learn­ing, this time right here in the great Pacif­ic North­west:

An inci­dent with an active shoot­er has tak­en place at Umpqua Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege in Rose­burg that has left at least 10 peo­ple dead and more than 20 injured.

Accord­ing to Andrea Zielin­s­ki with the Dou­glas Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office deputies respond­ed to reports of shots fired at the school at 10:37 AM.

Ore­gon State Police spokesman told CNN that 10 peo­ple have been killed and 20 are injured.

Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion has not yet been released and will be post­ed as it becomes avail­able.

The gun­man is said to be dead after a con­fronta­tion with police. A Dou­glas Coun­ty com­mis­sion­er had pre­vi­ous­ly told CNN that the shoot­er had been appre­hend­ed and is in cus­tody. That was appar­ent­ly not cor­rect. The shoot­er is report­ed­ly a male.

The first call to 911 was placed at 10:38 AM Pacif­ic.

The Ore­gon­ian has a live­blog going where they are pub­lish­ing reg­u­lar updates.

Rose­burg is a city in south­ern Ore­gon, home to 21,181 peo­ple as of the 2010 cen­sus. It is about an hour’s dri­ve south of Eugene, and it is bisect­ed by Inter­state 5. Umpqua Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege is actu­al­ly locat­ed six miles north of the city, and has around 1,400 enrolled stu­dents. The col­lege offers two-year pro­grams. The aver­age age of the stu­dents there is thir­ty-eight, we under­stand.

Its cam­pus con­sists of six­teen build­ings on one hun­dred acres, locat­ed along­side the North Umqua Riv­er. The cam­pus is rel­a­tive­ly iso­lat­ed; there isn’t much else in the imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty around it. How­ev­er, it is locat­ed fair­ly close to Inter­state 5.

Aerial snapshot of Umpqua Community College

Aer­i­al snap­shot of Umpqua Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege

Umpqua’s web­site is cur­rent­ly down. We’re not sure if that’s because it can’t cope with a sud­den spike in traf­fic, or whether there is anoth­er rea­son. How­ev­er, you can look at a snap­shot of its web­site from last week on Archive.org.

It goes with­out say­ing that this is a ter­ri­ble tragedy that will leave many Ore­gon fam­i­lies in the worst kind of pain and anguish. The kind that nev­er real­ly goes away.

We don’t know who the vic­tims are, but we’ll be pray­ing for them and their fam­i­lies. The next few hours will be very, very dif­fi­cult, as fam­i­ly and friends learn the fate of their loved ones from author­i­ties.

We can­not con­tin­ue to tol­er­ate gun vio­lence as a soci­ety like we have been. Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton have been lead­ers in strength­en­ing gun back­ground check laws, but we need to do more. Much more.

So far, in 2015 alone, there have been a stag­ger­ing 39,383 inci­dents of gun vio­lence, and 9,936 deaths. That’s close to half the pop­u­la­tion of Rose­burg, and three times the num­ber of peo­ple killed dur­ing the Sep­tem­ber 11th attacks.

Here’s a more com­pre­hen­sive break­down from the Gun Vio­lence Archive (data val­i­dat­ed as of ear­li­er today):

  • Total Num­ber of Inci­dents: 39,383
  • Num­ber of Deaths: 9,936
  • Num­ber of Injuries: 20,210
  • Num­ber of Chil­dren (age 0–11) Killed/Injured: 549
  • Num­ber of Teens (age 12–17) Killed/Injured: 1,960
  • Mass Shoot­ing: 264
  • Offi­cer Involved Shoot­ing: 3,324
  • Home Inva­sion: 1,695
  • Defen­sive Use: 899
  • Acci­den­tal Shoot­ing: 1,388

Notice above that the num­ber of “acci­den­tal” shoot­ings is high­er than the num­ber of inci­dents in which guns were used for self defense. This val­i­dates the para­dox that peo­ple who buy guns for pro­tec­tion actu­al­ly end up mak­ing them­selves less safe.

There is much we can do to make our com­mu­ni­ties and our nation safer. The NRA-led gun lob­by stands in the way. Com­bat­ing their destruc­tive influ­ence and reduc­ing gun vio­lence is one of the most wor­thy caus­es of our time.

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