“Ten people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College on Thursday, forcing the nation to face yet another mass shooting. Seven other people were injured, and the shooter is dead, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters. Earlier estimates had put the number of people hurt much higher. Multiple law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation identified the gunman as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. Investigators have interviewed members of his family and friends, they said.
“However, reactions to mass shootings in the United States admit little variation. Gun control groups diagnose an epidemic, the president declares a crisis and gun advocates prescribe more guns. The NRA, the largest and most powerful gun advocacy group in the world, typically mutes itself after mass shootings, and demands that others follow suit out of respect for the dead. The group’s social-media accounts, normally used to promulgate weapons enthusiasm, fall silent.
However, board member Charles Cotton strayed from the script late on Thursday, when he posted a comment online blaming the ten deceased victims of the community college shooting for “not having guns with which to protect themselves.”
“How carefree do you have to be with all of the mass shootings that are going on throughout America to not have something as simple and convenient as a small knife when you go to class, let alone a gun with which to protect yourself? Just because you haven’t done anything offensive or wrong to someone else doesn’t mean that they won’t try to do the same to you. #MoreGunsForOurStudents,” Cotton’s post stated.
Speaking with Newslo, the board member stated that his post “was not intended to blame or disgrace the deaths of ten innocent people,” but rather to “raise awareness that guns have become a necessity today regardless of where you live, how old you are and what kind of job you have. They’re like smartphones nowadays, everybody needs one.”
Cotton also added: “Had they had not ten guns among themselves, but just one, one of them would have had the chance to take out the shooter before the police did and save at least some of their classmates. That is what I’m talking about, right there! And if one should not blame them for it, they should blame their parents instead, because it is they who are the decision makers and they have failed to do their one parental duty, which is to protect their children.”
“I feel for the loss of those ten families, as well as all with all of those whose members were injured in Oregon, but they need to know that they have brought this upon themselves by refusing to get a gun and take their lives into their own hands. When will people understand that it is because of these situations that we need more guns, and not less?” the NRA board member concluded.