Details are still sketchy, but we’re developing a clearer picture of what happened yesterday when an angry, religion-hating loner* entered a classroom at Umpqua Community College in the small timber town of Roseburg, Oregon yesterday, and opened fire:
On Thursday morning, the misfit interrupted a class at UCC’s Snyder Hall, wearing a dark shirt and jeans and spewing bullets from multiple guns.
Students told of hiding between desks and huddling in darkness as the shooter methodically sought out victims.
“There’s a shooter! Run! Run! Get out of there!” groups of students screamed as they ran out of the building. Some hid under cars or tried to hold shut classroom doors.
Witnesses told Roseburg’s local paper, the News-Review, and CNN that M_____ asked students in the classroom he entered to stand up and state their religion.
According to CNN, victim Anastasia Boylan told her father before she went into surgery that M_____ said to the students who identified as Christian, “‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.’”
M_____ was killed in a shootout with police.
The murderer walked into a classroom, had time to interrogate each one of them, and shot them down in cold blood.
Nine UCC students were killed. Another seven were wounded.
At the same time the murderer was slaughtering these unarmed and defenseless college students I was at different kind of school, learning to stop madmen like him cold.
All week I’ve been training in the 350 Intermediate Pistol course at Gunsite Academy, under the tutelage of four incredibly talented instructors. One is an active duty police captain and SWAT commander in California. Another is a retired police officer with 15 years of SWAT experience in Missouri. The third is a veteran of the LAPD, serving decades in South Central. The fourth a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Major. All have been in gun battles. All know what it takes to stay alive, and to fight, so that others may live.
They are there to give our class the skills necessary to defeat evil young murders like this disturbed young man who so casually took his time questioning and then shooting his victims in UCC’s Snyder Hall.
People from all walks of life are in my class. There is an emergency room doctor, a pair of journalists (myself included), several police officers, several retirees, small business owners, and others who want to learn.
We’re here to learn to stop fights.
While this disgusting failure of a human being sought notoriety by taking lives in a classroom in Oregon, I was at an outdoor classroom, seated behind a “desk”, learning to take on five “armed men” from a seated position. Our fastest shooter took down the five targets in about seven seconds. I lagged behind, taking two seconds each to drop them all.
I have to think that even a “slow” trained shooter such as myself would have been more than a match for this angry, Christian-hating failure in Oregon.
We could have stopped his ability to murder.
We could have placed well-aimed shots to stop the taking of innocent lives. We would have done so with target discrimination and precision, firing enough shots to end the threat, and to save lives.
Sadly, we can’t be everywhere, and far too many people in this world live in a perpetual state of “it can’t happen here,” and “it can’t happen to me.”
Really? I must ask: what makes you so special, that it could never happen to you?
I’m nobody special. I’m just a father and a husband like any other. I’m also one of more than 100 million American gun owners, and 12+ million concealed carriers, who only wants a fighting chance to defend himself when “it can’t happen here” is proven to be a lie.
It can happen here. It can happen anywhere.
I want a fighting chance to defend my life and the lives of those around me when it does.
* Bearing Arms does not public the names of mass or spree killers. We would deny them the notoriety they crave.