The New York Times examines how arsenals were assembled by recent perpetrators of mass shootings, an article that includes a call for stricter gun laws from Ian Mercer, the father of Chris Harper-Mercer, who killed himself after killing nine people on an Oregon community college campus.

“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.

The killer owned 14 guns, all obtained legally, including a 5.56-millimeter military-style Del-Ton rifle. He couldn’t complete Army basic training and he graduated from a high school that teachers those with learning disabilities and emotional issues, but no one has yet pointed to a stage in his weapons acquisition where he should have been disqualified from ownership. (CORRECTION: Alas, I copied original description of Del-Ton rifle from a wire service account, which called it .556-caliber. Deadly regardless and seems to come standard with 30-round capacity.)


As I mentioned last night, his mother, with whom the killer lived in Oregon, reportedly has posted on Facebook about her support for open carry of firearms. The passage cited said in part:

I moved from So. Calif. to Oregon, from Southern Crime-a-mania to open carry. An open carry law won’t work everywhere!’

‘And when the mood strikes, and as long as we’re tossing around brand names, I sling an AR, Tek-9 or AK over my shoulder, or holster a Glock 21 (not 22), or one of my other handguns, like the Sig Sauer P226, and walk out the door. I find the shotguns are a little too cumbersome to open carry.’