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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Los Angeles (AFP) – A gunman killed one person and injured three others Thursday on a college campus in the northwestern U.S. city of Seattle, the latest of what the mayor denounced as America’s “epidemic of gun violence.”

The most recent bloody rampage to shake the United States came two weeks after an apparently mentally disturbed young man opened fire at a California university and killed six people.

The gunman opened fire in a lobby of a science building on campus of Seattle Pacific University, killing one 19-year-old man and wounding three other people.

“Today should have been a day of celebration at the end of the school year. Instead it’s a day of tragedy and of loss,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told reporters after the shooting.

“Once again, the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle, the epidemic of gun violence that’s haunting this nation.”

The injured, including one who was in critical condition, were being treating in hospital, police said.

“Police have one suspect in custody, an adult male who was subdued after being pepper-sprayed by a student security guard,” the police statement added.

The gunman was identified as Aaron Ybarra, 26, and he was not a student at the university, the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper reported.

He was to make an initial court appearance on Friday on suspicion of murder, it said.

Blake Oliveira, a student, said he was in class when the shooting rang out and first thought it came from a physics experiment. But then he heard screams, the Seattle paper reported.

The 21-year-old grabbed a metal pipe, as he and fellow students were locked in a physics lab.

Oliveira said he heard someone telling others to be calm, and then heard running.

Minutes later, he said, two police officers entered the lab and escorted everyone out.

“I took off my sandals put them into my backpack in case I had to run,” Oliveira said. “This is all going down. I saw a cop with a shotgun and I thought, ‘Okay, this is kind of real right now.’ And then I saw blood on the floor,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Police spokesman Chris Fowler described how the young male gunman was taken into custody after opening fire in the lobby of a building on the campus.

He began to reload when a student who was monitoring the building “confronted the shooter (and) was able to subdue the individual,” Fowler told reporters.

“Once on the ground, other students jumped on top of them and they were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived.”

Less than two weeks ago, a reportedly mentally unstable 22-year-old man killed six people before turning the gun on himself at a college campus in Santa Barbara, California.

School shootings have become a tragic periodic occurrence in the United States in recent years.They include the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 small children dead, and the Virginia Tech shooting in April 2007 in which 33 died, including the gunman.

AFP Photo/Mat Hayward

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  • Independent1

    And sadly, these school shootings are not encouraging state governors and legislatures to enact better gun controls, in fact, just the opposite is happening. Georgia has enacted a law that allows any citizen of Georgia to carry a gun basically anywhere that the establishment doesn’t itself prohibit them; for example, into churches, into bars and even into court houses. And now, South Carolina is even doing Georgia one better; the governor is thinking about allowing South Carolina citizens to carry guns, either open or concealed, and without needing a permit or even training in how to use one.

    Below are some excerpts from article in the DailyKos on someone finding a gun that was left loaded in the toy section of a Target store in South Carolina. As part of that article is coverage on the South Carolina governor; here’s an excerpt:

    A 9mm handgun, loaded with live ammunition, has been found in the toy aisle of a Target store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. To add even more irony, the open carry folks were posting on Facebook gems like this: We like baby toys, one open carry supporter chimed in on Facebook.

    And, to add insult to injury, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley recently proposed making it legal for anyone to openly carry a gun, even without a permit:

    S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday that she backs a proposal that would make it legal for most South Carolinians to carry guns – concealed or in the open – without a permit or the training that the state currently requires.

    Haley made her comments after she signed into law a bill that allows gun owners with licenses to carry concealed weapons into businesses that serve alcohol – restaurants and bars – as long as they do not drink alcohol and the businesses did not bar guns.

    The rational here fails me. More mass murders are taking place across the nation, and yet legislatures in some red states are not taking these as warnings, but rather as motivation to reduce gun control laws in their states even more. Maybe someone can explain their rational to me.

    And I understand there was some right-wing gun nut who tried to relate days scenario to what he or she thought was an even less controlled access to guns back in the Wild, Wild West days; but in doing so was clearly wrong; gun laws back in the Wild, Wild west days were in some ways far more stringent than they are in America today; guns were not allowed in many of the infamous gun-shooting Wild. Wild West towns:

    For those interested see this article:

    The Mild, Mild West

  • tdm3624

    “Once again, the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle, the epidemic of gun violence that’s haunting this nation.”

    There weren’t any shootings in my town yesterday. Or the town nearby. Or in most cities and communities across the nation. We forget that any type of mass shooting will immediately be splashed across every news site, giving the false impression that there is an epidemic. Of course the news doesn’t report on all of the hundreds of thousands of hunters who take guns and use them every year safely because that is boring. We like to read about things that shock the sensibilities; the more blood the better. An epidemic is the Spanish influenza of 1918/1919. An epidemic is obesity in America. A few shootings by a mental case is not an epidemic.