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Posts published in “Day: October 2, 2015”

First take/Umpqua

Yesterday, for me, mass shootings in America got personal.

A year ago my sister, who had been teaching geology in the Portland area, was hired as an assistant professor, teaching geology, at Umpqua Community College at Roseburg. She's had an enjoyable year there and was beginning on a second yesterday afternoon, teaching a class as usual, when a student came into the classroom saying a shooter was killing people in the building next door.

Karen and her students were lucky enough to get out uninjured, but the 10 people who were killed and seven more injured were less fortunate. Umpqua, and Roseburg (a town of about 20,000 people), is in shock.

These shootings are getting personal for more and more people. The FBI reports that the number of mass shootings so far this year in America are coming at a rate of more than one a day.

So take care. If we don't at some point try to get a handle on this, a mass shooting coming soon down the road may get personal for you. - rs

A quote Thursday from President Barack Obama: "And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. I would ask news organizations - because I won't put these facts forward - have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports. This won't be information coming from me; it will be coming from you. We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?"

The website Vox did what Obama suggested, and came up with this.