Umpqua Community College Shooting

Noor Kamal & Lawrence Lan, Staff Writers

On October 1, 2015, Umpqua Community College student Christopher Harper-Mercer killed an assistant professor, eight students, and himself on campus. Although this tragedy occurred over two weeks ago, its implications still hang over the United States in a cloud of sadness.

Mercer, to many, was a troubled and rather odd twenty-six-year-old man. He wore the same outfit of combat boots and green Army pants everyday, was rather quiet, and only opened up to others about a violent interest of his: guns. His mother Laura Harper, whom her son lived with, also loved guns, always expressing her disapproval with gun-control laws in ‘lame states.’ The family owned fourteen legally purchased weapons, stashed in the basement. His mother did not know that Christopher was violent, and dismissed such thoughts of his emotional troubles or speculation from others.

Additionally, Mercer hinted online at the attack. On the website 4Chan, he stated, “Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest,” and, “I have an elaborate plan… needless to say, it will be glorious.”

The attack began in Classroom 15, an English and writing classroom, where Harper-Mercer took writing classes. He entered the classroom, gathered students into the center forcibly, spared one of them to give a letter to for the police, and shot. Throughout the attack, he asked students for their religion, or if they were Christian. At the end of the attack and after a fight with the police, he had shot eight students and his assistant English professor.

This tragedy raises many speculations, especially about gun control laws.