Did you know there were shootings at two colleges last Friday? I didn’t – at least not until I read about them the next day on the inside pages of the Los Angeles Times. These shootings, in which two people were killed and a total of four were injured and which happened on the same day that President Obama visited Roseburg, Oregon, where nine people were killed and nine were injured in a shooting at Umpqua Community College a week earlier, weren’t front-page news. (They also weren’t mentioned on Friday’s PBS NewsHour.)
So, this is where we’re at. The shootings at Northern Arizona University, in which one person was killed and two were injured, and at Texas Southern University, which had the same outcome, were business as usual, barely worth noting in the news. Yes, many fewer people were killed and injured than in the October 1 shooting in Oregon, but they were nevertheless instances of horrific gun violence, resulting in death and injuries, on supposedly safe-zone campuses. In fact, another fatal college campus shooting, also on Friday, was briefly mentioned at the end of the Times article.
Also business as usual, apparently, was the crowd protesting Obama’s visit, with signs reading, “United we stand…Obama we fall,” “Can you hear me now? Go home!” and “Don’t mess with my guns.” They were angry that the president, as one protester said, “wants to come to our community and stand on the corpses of our loved ones to make some kind of political point.” Another protester said, “It viscerally offended me that he uses something like this to purse his own ulterior motives – destroying this country, undermining America.”
Yep, like I said, business as usual.