This is eye opening. As new details continue to emerge about the Oregon school shooting, a new report reveals that Chris Harper-Mercer’s mother, Laurel Margaret Harper, actually kept numerous firearms in her home and openly wrote about her disdain for stricter gun laws.
As the town of Roseburg, Oregon continues to mourn those who dies in the horrific shooting that took place on the Umpqua Community College campus on Oct. 1, new details have emerged about the identity of the gunman, 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer. In addition to harvesting an obsession with Satan and other mass murderers, a new report reveals that his mother, Laurel Margaret Harper, 64, openly stockpiled firearms in their home, and repeatedly took to online message boards to write about the difficulties she faced in raising a troubled son.
In a series of online postings collected over a decade, Laurel openly admitted to keeping loaded firearms in her home, amid fears of stricter gun laws, the New York Times reports. Answering a question about state gun laws several years ago on Yahoo! Answers, Laurel, a registered nurse, noted that she had AR-15 and AK-47 semiautomatic rifles, along with a Glock handgun in her home, while also taking jabs at the “lame states” that impose limits on keeping loaded firearms in the home. “I keep two full mags in my Glock case. And the ARs & AKs all have loaded mags,” Laurel wrote in the post. “No one will be ‘dropping’ by my house uninvited without acknowledgement.” Neighbors have also said that Laurel and Chris liked to go to shooting ranges together, something she seemed to confirm in one of her online posts about unprepared gun owners: “When I’m at the range, I cringe every time the ‘wannabes’ show up.”
Since the tragic shooting, law enforcement officials have said that they’ve recovered 14 firearms and extra ammunition magazines that were purchased legally either by Laurel or an unnamed relative. According to police reports, Chris had six guns on him when he entered Snyder Hall and started firing at his classmates; he took his own life after exchanging fire with the police.
In addition to writing about her fondness of guns and shooting ranges, Laurel also spent a lot of time writing openly about the difficulties she faced in raising her son, who, like herself, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. As a nurse, she often consoled other parents, who sought out help for their child’s own disruptive behavior. In one post, Laurel shared that her own son “was, among other things, a head-banger” when he was younger. “He’s no babbling idiot nor is his life worthless,” she wrote. “He’s very intelligent and is working on a career in filmmaking. My 18 years worth of experience with and knowledge about Asperger’s syndrome is paying off.”
The first three of Chris’s 10 victims (including himself) were revealed as Lucero Alvarez, 19, Rebecka Carnes, 18, and Jason Johnson, 33, on Oct. 2. Our thoughts continue to go out to the family, friends, and fellow classmates of these beautiful lives who were taken from them far too soon.
— Alyssa Montemurro