With at least 10 dead and 20 injured, we have had yet another mass public shooting in a gun-free zone.
The original document can be found here. The campus did have three security officers, but they were also disarmed. Of course, uniformed security officers have limited usefulness in stopping these attacks because people in uniforms are easy targets.
For those questioning whether the community college is a gun-free zone, The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, Oregon has this statement from the Interim community college President Rita Calvin:
Here is another statement from the recent past president of the college.
Clearly schools prevent teachers/professors from carrying a gun on campus. The clear case here is: Court of Appeals of Oregon.Jane DOE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MEDFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT 549C, Defendant-Respondent.073765E2; A137804. Decided: November 18, 2009.
In our view, the school district’s internal employment policy does not represent the sort of exercise of the “authority to regulate” firearms that the statute preempts. Because, as we have noted, the trial court erred in dismissing the declaratory judgment action rather than issuing a judgment containing a declaration as to the matter in dispute, we must vacate the judgment and remand for entry of a judgment declaring that the school district’s policy is not preempted by ORS 166.170. . . .
Employment policy thus seems clear. The issue of whether schools can ban students from carrying guns in their student handbooks as a condition of enrollment hasn’t been decided, but it seems likely that Oregon courts would make a decision is similar to their decision on employment.
In another more recent case another Oregon state Appeals Court decision there was a challenge to Western Oregon University’s administrative rule. In that case, the court ruled that the school did not have the authority to make such an administrative rule, but administrative rules are different from employment or enrollment policy in student or faculty handbooks. OREGON FIREARMS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, an Oregon nonprofit corporation, Petitioner, v. BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION and Oregon University System, Respondents.A142974. Decided: September 28, 2011.
In this administrative rule challenge, ORS 183.400(1), petitioner Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation seeks the invalidation of an administrative rule of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and the Oregon University System (respondents) that imposes sanctions on persons who possess or use firearms on university property. Petitioner contends that the rule exceeds respondents’ statutory authority, that it is preempted by ORS 166.170, and that it violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. We conclude that the rule is preempted and therefore do not address whether it also violates the Second Amendment. Accordingly, we conclude that the rule is invalid. . . .
If guns are banned through statements in student and faculty handbooks, only non-student and non-faculty members can clearly carry on schools/colleges campuses, but then there is the issue of whether schools/colleges can ban guns in buildings, and it appears that the Oregon state Appeals Court has said that schools/colleges can indeed ban guns there.
That exception, petitioner contends, demonstrates the legislature’s intention to expressly authorize persons with concealed handgun permits to carry firearms in public buildings, including buildings on state college and university campuses. We reject the contention that a statutory exception to criminal sanctions for the possession of a handgun in public buildings indicates an intention to require public educational institutions to permit concealed handguns. . . .
The bottom line is that guns were clearly banned by everyone where the attack occurred in the classroom at Umpqua Community College. Even if guns were somehow allowed to be carried on campus, the perception of people created by the student and faculty handbooks is that they weren’t allowed. The policy undoubtedly reduced the number of people carrying and lowered the risk that the killer would run into someone who could quickly stop him. At least one person apparently ignored the rules there at the school, but, unfortunately, he was not in the part of the school where the attack occurred. By suppressing the number of permit holders, the school made it easier for the killer to successfully commit his attack.
The White House amazingly immediately called for more gun control after the attack. From The Hill newspaper:
Passing tougher laws to help prevent gun violence remains a high priority for President Obama, the White House said Thursday after reports of a mass shooting resulting in multiple casualties.“The issue of sensible steps that can be taken to protect our communities from gun violence continues to be a top priority of this administration,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. . . . .
A law that went into effect on Aug. 9 requires background checks for transactions made between individuals and online. Previously, checks were mandatory only for people seeking to buy a gun from a federally licensed dealer — at a gun store or gun show.
It is not clear where or when the shooter in Thursday’s attack obtained his weapon nor whether the new law would have had any impact.
Gun-control advocates said the new measure would prevent criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns. . . .