It’s Not the Guns or Terror — It’s the Choice
By Tommy Batboy
The world is on fire this morning after the awful shooting at a rural community college in Oregon. It hasn’t been 24 hours yet and already the rhetoric is going full blast from every corner of the media, the internet, and social media. The police and the state’s examiner haven’t even officially released the shooters name, or all the victim’s names for that matter, and already lines in the sand are drawn and the ignorance machine is being fed.
You have the liberals with the never ending prattle of false gun logic: “we need tougher gun laws!” “If he didn’t high cap mags/multiple guns/access to ammo (blah blah blah) this wouldn’t have happened!” The shooter was in a school zone, where it’s already illegal to carry a gun. Reports say that he stopped to reload multiple times (while talking to his victims no less), and was constantly on the move as he singled out these people.
“He only gunned down Christians, it must be some sort of terrorism!” screams the right wing with visions of Red Dawn dancing in their heads. Never mind the reports that the shooter was a 26 year old white American kid who grew up in a decent area of Southern California. Unless the next thing you are going to tell me is that he’s a Homeland style plant, this isn’t the thing you should be screaming about.
Both these viewpoints almost completely divorce human element from the equation. In one scenario an inanimate object is the cause of all the evil, in another a faceless murky specter preying the majority of American’s religious belief is to blame.
This attack took place in a gun free zone; a community college. All the reports I’ve read say that the shooter reloaded multiple times. Outside of rescinding the 2nd Amendment, what restriction are you going to legislate here? Nothing.
The man linked to this crime, Chris Mercer, has already been run through all the terrorism data bases and they can’t find anything on him. He was not a student at the school, nor an employee, and was by all accounts a loner. The last thing I read was that the FBI has all but ruled terrorism out.
He made a choice to kill as many people as he could for reasons we do not yet understand. He made a choice to indiscriminately harm members of his community. To kill people that he had no real connection with, for reasons completely unknown to us at this time.
On the other side of the equation, you have Chris Mintz. As a combat Veteran who was stationed at JBLM, he found himself living in Oregon so he could be a father to his son. He was at the school with a dream to work in the fitness industry. As the shots rang out he also made a choice—to try and help, to protect and to try save. He ran towards the gunfire.
The issue here isn’t a gun—a gun is a tool. It isn’t what or whom this asshole is affiliated with. The issue is the choice he made. The only thing that can almost be called good to come out of this is the choice that Chris Mintz made. As a society, as a nation, the political machine seems to do everything it can to divorce choice from action. Thankfully, there are sheepdogs out there who make the hard choice to do the right thing, even in the face of overwhelming odds.