What Happened in Roseburg Won't Stay in Roseburg

From the Los Angeles Times, 10-8-15, re: the Oregon mass shooting:

Harper-Mercer's mother, Laurel Harper, shared her son's passion for guns... In online postings, Harper talked about her love of guns and her son's emotional troubles, but there were no hints of worry that he could become violent, the Associated Press has reported. "I keep two full mags in my Glock case. And the ARs & AKs all have loaded mags. No one will be 'dropping' by my house uninvited without acknowledgment," she wrote in a post three years ago."

And from "Firearm Fantasies" editorial by Michael Shermer, presidential fellow at Chapman University:

...the fantasy many of us have of facing down an intruder with a firearm is belied by the fact that a gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a criminal assault, an accidental death or injury, a suicide attempt or a homicide than it is for self-defense.

I pray that all people of faith -- whether from a religious or non-religious source -- will keep the faith in working for culture change regarding guns in America, and in pressing and voting for sensible, serious gun control. As national elections approach in a year, let us keep this issue at the top of the political agenda. What happened in Roseburg won't stay in Roseburg until as a nation we match the money and the voting power of the gun lobby.

I was so appalled by the Roseburg incident that I needed to deal with my despair by flying my fingers across my computer keyboard. This is the result -- a spoof on the absurdity of owning guns for self-defense:

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WHY I OWN GUNS
By N. R. Addled

I need a pistol to protect myself from bad guys. Surely any self-respecting bad guy would give me time to see him coming, and then give me time to reach for my pistol and shoot him, before he would shoot me with his pistol.

I need a pistol to protect myself because I'm afraid of people who are afraid of me because they know I have a pistol. There's nothing scarier than a scared person, after all.

I need a concealed gun to carry in public so that when I am robbed at gunpoint by another gun owner, I'll have a valuable gun that the robber can take in exchange for my life. The poor thief couldn't afford to buy a gun: that's why he robbed me, so he could be a proud and patriotic gun owner like I am!

I need to carry my pistol openly in a holster on my belt when I go to the supermarket so that people will know that I am in favor of the right to carry guns openly. My worst fear is that other people might think I voted for a politician who favored any kind of restrictions on gun ownership, so I need guns to protect me from that awful fate.

I need to carry a gun in public so I'll be ready to protect others in case of an attack by a terrorist or a crazy person. In less than a second, I'll conduct a thorough investigation to determine who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, in the midst of an extremely chaotic incident. Then I'll fire my weapon to save the day. If I accidentally kill some good guys, surely everyone will understand that I did the best I could under the circumstances. God will sort out the good guys from the bad guys in the afterlife.

I need a gun in every room of my house in case a thief comes into my house to steal my guns, so I'll be armed and ready wherever I am in the house. I am sure that my family and friends feel safer when they see loaded weapons everywhere in my house.

I need an assault weapon to protect me from the assault weapons of the government that might try to take away my assault weapon. Since I interpret the right to bear arms as referring to individual gun owners and not to "a well-regulated militia" as the Second Amendment clearly says, it'll just be me, a rugged, unregulated individualist, fending off the full force of the well-regulated militia of the United States. Since the government knows I have a cache of high-powered weapons, they'll be forced to attack me by surprise with assault weapons. So I probably will die before I get to my assault weapon to fight back, but when they find my dead body reaching for my assault weapon, they'll know that I was a red-blooded patriotic American defender of the Second Amendment.

If a politician who favors gun control gets elected, then I will buy more guns. If they keep electing people like that to public office, pretty soon I'll have a huge arsenal in my house. Surely that will convince politicians that gun control is a bad idea.

The way to stop mass murders committed with assault weapons is for everybody to have assault weapons, and to point them at each other all the time so we can open fire when somebody looks like they might open fire. Because if the bad guys shoot first at 13 rounds per second, it's all over for the good guys.

JIM BURKLO
Website: JIMBURKLO.COM Weblog: MUSINGS Follow me on twitter: @jtburklo
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Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California