Shooter's dad blames availability of guns

If a child of mine had committed a massacre, I would think I would almost want to melt into the ground.  I think I would be terribly ashamed, because while I would not be directly responsible for what occurred, I imagine the world would think that I must have been a terrible parent, and I would probably feel that way, too.

The father of the Roseburg, Oregon shooter apparently doesn't seem to feel any shame – only indignation:

The father of the gunman who killed nine people at a community college here called on the nation to change its gun laws on Saturday, saying the massacre “would not have happened” if his son had not been able to buy so many handguns and rifles.

So many?  How many handguns and rifles did he need?  I think one or two would have been more than sufficient.  The problem was not that his son was able to buy so many weapons, but that his son was depressed and able to buy any weapons.  Unfortunately, unless someone already has a documented history of mental illness, there is no way to know what is inside his mind.

But the closest thing we have to mind-readers for children are people called parents.  They are supposed to be watching over their children and monitoring their behavior.  If they see something amiss, they should get their child mental help and, if necessary, alert the authorities.

“How was he able to compile that kind of arsenal?” the father, Ian Mercer, said in an interview with CNN at his home in Tarzana, Calif. He said he had no idea that his son owned more than a dozen firearms.

How could a father be unaware that his son has more than a dozen guns?  What kind of absentee father was he?

Despite Mr. Harper-Mercer’s online interest in high-profile shootings and neighbors’ memories of him as an enthusiastic gun collector who frequently went target shooting with his mother, the gunman’s father told CNN he did not know his son owned guns.

Mr. Harper-Mercer’s parents divorced a decade ago, and he had lived with his mother. The father said he had not seen his son since he and his mother, Laurel Harper, moved to Oregon about two years ago, but said there was no “disharmony or any bitterness” between him and his son.

So there we have the answer – he was an uninterested absentee father who knew less about his son than his neighbors did.

Adding a raw, personal voice to the debate over gun control in the wake of this latest mass shooting, he said the United States needed to tighten gun laws.

“It has to change,” he said. “How can it not? Even people that believe in the right to bear arms, what right do you have to take someone’s life?” He would not discuss his son’s mental health issues, deferring to the police investigation. “Obviously, someone who goes and kills nine people has to have some kind of issue,” he said.

...which he is unaware of, as a negligent parent, or else he is feigning ignorance, also as a negligent parent, to avoid responsibility.

So instead of the father being partially responsible, it's the system of private gun ownership that is at fault.  How convenient.

Because we can't read minds, we will never be able to keep guns out of the hands of every single person who shouldn't have them.  Neither can we keep cars out of the hands of people who will drive drunk and kill people but have no history of it yet.  This is the price we pay for having a free society.  But parents should be held at least partially responsible for their failures when their children turn violent.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

If a child of mine had committed a massacre, I would think I would almost want to melt into the ground.  I think I would be terribly ashamed, because while I would not be directly responsible for what occurred, I imagine the world would think that I must have been a terrible parent, and I would probably feel that way, too.

The father of the Roseburg, Oregon shooter apparently doesn't seem to feel any shame – only indignation:

The father of the gunman who killed nine people at a community college here called on the nation to change its gun laws on Saturday, saying the massacre “would not have happened” if his son had not been able to buy so many handguns and rifles.

So many?  How many handguns and rifles did he need?  I think one or two would have been more than sufficient.  The problem was not that his son was able to buy so many weapons, but that his son was depressed and able to buy any weapons.  Unfortunately, unless someone already has a documented history of mental illness, there is no way to know what is inside his mind.

But the closest thing we have to mind-readers for children are people called parents.  They are supposed to be watching over their children and monitoring their behavior.  If they see something amiss, they should get their child mental help and, if necessary, alert the authorities.

“How was he able to compile that kind of arsenal?” the father, Ian Mercer, said in an interview with CNN at his home in Tarzana, Calif. He said he had no idea that his son owned more than a dozen firearms.

How could a father be unaware that his son has more than a dozen guns?  What kind of absentee father was he?

Despite Mr. Harper-Mercer’s online interest in high-profile shootings and neighbors’ memories of him as an enthusiastic gun collector who frequently went target shooting with his mother, the gunman’s father told CNN he did not know his son owned guns.

Mr. Harper-Mercer’s parents divorced a decade ago, and he had lived with his mother. The father said he had not seen his son since he and his mother, Laurel Harper, moved to Oregon about two years ago, but said there was no “disharmony or any bitterness” between him and his son.

So there we have the answer – he was an uninterested absentee father who knew less about his son than his neighbors did.

Adding a raw, personal voice to the debate over gun control in the wake of this latest mass shooting, he said the United States needed to tighten gun laws.

“It has to change,” he said. “How can it not? Even people that believe in the right to bear arms, what right do you have to take someone’s life?” He would not discuss his son’s mental health issues, deferring to the police investigation. “Obviously, someone who goes and kills nine people has to have some kind of issue,” he said.

...which he is unaware of, as a negligent parent, or else he is feigning ignorance, also as a negligent parent, to avoid responsibility.

So instead of the father being partially responsible, it's the system of private gun ownership that is at fault.  How convenient.

Because we can't read minds, we will never be able to keep guns out of the hands of every single person who shouldn't have them.  Neither can we keep cars out of the hands of people who will drive drunk and kill people but have no history of it yet.  This is the price we pay for having a free society.  But parents should be held at least partially responsible for their failures when their children turn violent.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.