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By Beckye Randall
Talk of the Town 

Tragedy strikes again


Once again, a disturbed individual armed with a deadly weapon has shattered the peace of an entire college campus and taken the life of a young person whose potential will never be known.

This particular incident occurred in our corner of the world, on the Seattle Pacific University campus. At the time of this writing, no connection had been found between the gunman, 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra, and the college or its students. His targets appeared to be random.

The public is praising the heroic young man who managed to stop the shooter as he paused to reload his weapon, disabling him with pepper spray and knocking him to the ground. That action could have turned out much differently if the gunman had been armed with an automatic weapon instead of an old-fashioned shotgun, but thankfully there were no more deaths.

Only one. And one is far too many.

As the grieving father of a student shot to death during a deadly rampage in California cried, “Not one more!”

Yes, of course, mental health is a contributing factor in this latest incident. But the shooter’s mental problems didn’t kill 19-year-old Paul Lee. The bullet from his gun did.

I know what many will say. “Guns don’t kill people. They’re just a tool, like a knife or a hammer.”

Except knives and hammers really are tools that have other practical uses. A gun’s only use is to kill—or at least wound.

After the terrible tragedy in Newtown, the country rose up in a nearly unanimous voice, urging the passage of common sense gun regulations. Universal background checks, a limit on the availability of so-called “assault” weapons and the size of magazines seemed reasonable to most folks, but even with nearly 90 percent of the American public saying “do it,” nothing was done.

Since the Newtown massacre, our nation has witnessed 44 school shootings in 24 states, according to the Washington Post. Twenty-eight people have died and 37 have been injured. And that doesn’t include this latest tragedy, or the equally tragic deaths of individuals across the country at the hands of an armed criminal.

What is our breaking point? When will enough blood be shed for us to demand some responsible action?

Not one more.


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