Amidst the knee-jerk cries for more gun control in the wake of Thursday’s massacre in Oregon comes a voice of reason from a surprising place.
Shelby Wambolt survived the shooting, having managed to escape from Roseburg’s Umpqua Community College when the shooting broke out in a neighboring classroom. Despite her close brush with death — and having lost a close friend who died in the tragedy — Ms. Wambolt is suggesting more gun control is not the answer.
Via Sky News:Ms Wambolt said calls by President Obama for tighter regulations on gun ownership were misguided.
She said: “I know Obama got on the air and talked about gun control and I really don’t believe gun control is the problem.”
“What I’m hearing is that he (the gunman) did have mental illness and some issues but our town doesn’t have a lot of avenues for people who have mental illness.
“It is really sad because people who need help and treatment don’t get it.“Could that have helped him? Could that have changed things? Could that have saved lives? We will never know.”
Indeed, we will never know whether better access to mental health support might have prevented this particular tragedy. We will also never know how many lives might have been saved had someone other than the shooter been armed in this school’s “gun-free” zone. Or how much this shooter’s own religious beliefs might have factored into his act, given his apparent targeting of Christians. Or…
Frankly, at this point, there remain more questions than solid answers.Ms. Wambolt’s mature and common sense response to Thursday’s tragedy is a reminder to those quick to single out guns that the answer is likely much, much more complex.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]