Friday, June 27, 2014

Survivor Story: Allen Wayne McNeil

Shooting survivor Allen Wayne McNeil
Today we have a survivor story from guest blogger Allen Wayne McNeil.  In 2012, he survived being shot three times in front of his residence, in Mobile, Alabama.  Wayne is now an advocate for stronger gun regulation to keep others from being victims.  Here is the account, in his own words, of his harrowing experience....

On October 10th 2012, I became a victim of gun violence in America. I have never tried to collect all of my thoughts and recollections about the experience in one place.  Perhaps now is the time.

I came home from work later than usual that evening and settled into the swing underneath the large old oak tree in my front yard to wind down. My former neighborhood was not one of the better in midtown Mobile, AL, but I had lived there for 10 years and thought nothing of being outside after dark. I suppose it was this complacency that contributed in at least a small part to being shot that evening. I was listening to music through headphones, blissfully unaware of the world around me. 

Deciding at around 11:30pm that it was getting late, I got out of the swing and headed to the front door of my house and heard what I though was a firecracker explode. I turned towards the sound and saw two men walking down the side walk.  I continued towards the door and heard a second firecracker go off, the men were following me. With the second blast I remember thinking “why are they throwing these things at me?” There was an odd sensation of air being compressed around my torso paired with what felt like an equal expansion inside my body. Somewhere in the next few seconds I saw the gun and began to realize they were shooting at me (at this point I had been shot once through the upper arm and once through my chest.) I tripped over a planter and fell down with my back to the door. I do not remember any details about my shooters appearance, but I will never forget him asking “do you like my gun” holding it out towards me to see. I raised my arm to shield myself and felt the third bullet hit my body, just below my armpit. It was in this moment that I knew they would just keep shooting me over and over if I didn’t get inside the house. I reached up and opened the door and crawled inside. 

Once inside the house I stood up, walked over to the table and grabbed a shirt to press against my wounds. I saw the terrified look on my roommate’s face from where she stood at the end of the hallway. It was in this moment that fear became a part of the whole experience. I started to walk towards her, she was telling me to lie down and stay still. I was so fevered and kept asking for a wet washcloth. (I later learned a few weeks later that she was afraid they would fire into the house and was frightened to walk to the bathroom to get me the washcloth.)

As I lay on the tile floor, I felt the most intense pain in my abdomen, weird cramps that would not subside. I started to think of all of the things that I hadn’t finished that week and thought “is this what it feels like to die?” I wondered how long it would take the paramedics to arrive. Next a fairly calm belief that “this isn’t all I get, I will wake up tomorrow” settled over me.

I guess about 15 minutes from the first shot being fired the police arrived and began asking me
questions, shortly after the ambulance was outside. I answered questions as thoroughly as I could in the pain and confusion. While the EMT’s were attending to me on the ambulance, I remember asking them “to keep me alive until we get to the hospital.” I guess I was in surgery by 12:00 am. Here is where the events become less detailed, I recall hearing voices, being awake, seeing bright hospital lights. I regained consciousness the next day in the ICU.

The bullet removed from Wayne McNeil's back.
The shooters used a 9mm handgun and three bullets went through my body, hitting one lung, stomach, liver, and destroying my gallbladder. The third bullet lodged in the small of my back about 2” from my spine. It was removed a few weeks later and I have it as a souvenir of sorts. My torso bears a myriad of scars both from the bullets and surgery. I remained in the hospital for eight days, spent the next two weeks recovering at family and friends' homes. During that recovery period my house was packed up and moved to a new neighborhood. Three and half weeks later I went back to work.  

I feel so fortunate to have survived this ordeal and to be able to lend my voice to the debate of gun control issues in our country. Mostly I feel lucky that anger and fear aren’t a part of the emotions I have about becoming a victim. In some regards it is hard to even view myself as a victim, when I woke up in the hospital I was surrounded by an endless stream of family and friends. Mobile, particularly historic downtown where I have worked for years, rallied behind my recovery. I felt and still feel so much more love than pain.

To present date the shooters have not been identified by the police, the case is still open but not actively being investigated. The crime was officially listed as attempted robbery, though the criminals never asked for nor tried to take anything. I have wondered if, (and in fair disclosure… this is pure speculation on my part,) listing my shooting as attempted robbery somehow makes the crime rate in Mobile, AL look better, statistically.

It has taken me almost two years to feel comfortable talking about my experience publicly. The questions I am left with have less to do with whether or not my shooters will ever be caught, and more to do with how we solve this problem. Before being shot I was always in favor of gun control reform, but now I feel compelled to be an active participant in asking for sensible legislation that will ensure that unnecessary deaths do not happen. I am currently trying to find the best way to represent and advocate gun crime victims and survivors. I hope I can be a part of making positive changes in the way we think about guns and crime in America.

My name is Allen Wayne McNeil, I became a gun violence victim of October 10th 2012 and when I woke up on the 11th I became a survivor!

ADDENDUM (from Baldr): Thank you, Wayne, for sharing your story.  It takes courage to do so, yet can make such a difference, for the voices of survivors and the families of victims are the strongest to call for commonsense gun regulation.

Wayne McNeil's is one of a number of survivor stories posted here at New Trajectory.  You can also find others, or add your own survival story or the story of loved ones injured or killed by gun violence, at the links found in one of my previous posts, HERE.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Gun Bubble Has Burst

Do you remember the massive rush on guns and ammo? 

Who could forget?  After the Sandy Hook shooting, the NRA whipped gun owners into a frenzy of fear that assault weapons, and guns in general, would be banned and confiscated.  Their followers immediately ran out and purchased all the ammo and rifles they could manage to afford.  In many places, guns and ammo couldn’t be stocked fast enough.  AR-15’s were the hottest items, since they were the item of most loathing of anyone who was shocked at how many children had been killed so quickly.   Gun manufacturers made record profits.

The NRA made sure to blame President Obama as the figure most responsible for the firearms confiscations that were sure to be just around the corner, and the NRA followers responded amazingly.  As I blogged about a little over a year ago, the sales of these guns and ammo weren’t to new owners, but rather already-existing gun owners, for the most part, as the percentage of homes with guns continues to fall, and factors such as less interest in hunting and competition for interest in younger generations are making guns less appealing of a market.  In other words, gun owners are becoming a minority

When the gun guys wound up buying up all the available ammo, guess who they blamed for the problem?  That’s right, they blamed President Obama.  It’s a government conspiracy to buy up and stockpile the ammo, in order to drive up prices!  Another pro-gun conspiracy theory had it that government agencies were buying up the ammo in order to declare martial law and take away gun rights!  Of course, none of the gun guys pointed their fingers at the real source of the ammo and gun shortage:  themselves, for buying them, or the weapons manufacturers, who controlled the production.

When the gun ban and confiscation boogeyman didn’t materialize, the NRA was quick with another conspiracy theory:  in their twisted mind, the LACK of a ban and Obama's lack of action was evidence that a ban would be coming and that the Second Amendment was under attack.  (Don’t you love how Obama is always the focus of pro-gun conspiracy theories?).

Flash-forward to today.  Gun owners have bought all they can afford, and the market is once again saturated.  Ammo can be used up, but guns sold these days are most likely to outlive their owners.   Yes, some people with a real fetish for them will continue to build their own personal arsenal, but most gun owners don’t care to waste their money on it, just to titillate their trigger fingers.

As the Huffington Post recently reported, gun owners aren’t as worried about the old NRA line about the government banning all guns or confiscating them. 
After a year and a half of stockpiling weapons and ammunition, a buying binge that sent gun company stocks soaring, weapons enthusiasts seem to have realized that President Barack Obama and his allies in Congress are not, in fact, going to take away their guns.   …. 
But even the most paranoid gun buyers are starting to understand that Washington will be unable to do anything anytime soon to stem the flow of school shootings -- of which there have been 74 since Sandy Hook.
According to a CNN article:

After that [Sandy Hook] shooting, demand got crazy, said John Reids, owner of JT Reids Gun Shop in Auburn, Maine. "We couldn't keep up with it."
Reids had to hire extra workers to handle the sales spike. Guns were sold as soon as they arrived from the distributors.
Now, assault rifles are available for as little as $375 at some of the top online gun retailers like and
"Nearly all firearms have returned to prices seen prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy," said Dennis Pratte, owner of My Gun Factory, a store in Falls Church, Virginia. At the time, he recalls, customers were calling about assault rifles "every 10 seconds." ....
"I believe what happened is that everybody who wanted to buy one did," said Fernwood Firearms' John Kielbasa. "Now it's a buyer's market."
And now, after the gun bubble has burst, stocks for the gun manufacturers are sliding:

In its financial report released last Thursday, Smith & Wesson reported a 4.6 percent decline in profits for its fourth quarter, compared to last year. The company is also predicting lower demand for the coming year.
According to, financial analysts think that fears of tighter gun legislation have stalled, which is leading to fewer people buying guns. 
"Demand for modern sporting rifles has fallen off significantly following the post-Newton [sic] legislation-driven demand and the ensuing post-surge period," said Chris Krueger, an analyst at Lake Street Capital Markets, in a note to clients. "Long gun sales will decline about 25 percent in FY2015 and become a smaller percentage of Smith & Wesson's sales." 
Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at the market research firm Forecast International, told The Huffington Post that gun owners "have gotten over the panic buying stage and are back to a more normal level."

Now, gun stores are losing sales.  Those who invested heavily during the boom are now about to go bust.  Consider the case of one Texas gun store, in the little town of Katy.  Tactical Firearms now faces foreclosure as a result.  But instead of blaming themselves for poor management, or trying to appeal to their customers, they blame it on, of course, President Obama:
Tactical Firearms, the Katy gun store known for its snarky marquees that mock everything from President Obama to gun control could soon be out of ammo and out of business.
“Right now our second amendment is under attack,” said Jeremy Alcede, co-owner of Tactical Firearms. 
Their latest marquee claims Obama and Icon Bank are “trying to end them” on July 1st.
“We’ll lose everything, 150 people will be affected,” said Alcede. “They count on this job, we’re one big family.” 
Icon Bank is set to foreclose on Tactical Firearms next week. The bank said the gun store’s loan is in default, but the gun shop said this is about politics. ....
 But KHOU learned of a new twist. Alcede, the same man accepting donations online is being sued by his business partner Coe Wilson for allegedly taking money from the business an using it for personal purchases like a Caribbean vacation and jewelry. 
“He’s blamed the President of all people for his problems, when he should be blaming himself,” said Richard Nguyen, who represents Coe Wilson. “Jeremy has mismanaged funds to the detriment of the company.” 
Tactical Firearms denied the allegations.

Hmmm….. allegations of mismanagement and poor financial conduct.  But, but…. Obama!  Second Amendment!

Hey, gun guys, instead of blaming President Obama, how about putting the blame where it really lies:  a runaway problem of gun violence and a culture that places more value on gun rights and gun sales than on protecting the welfare of our people.  We as a nation need to stop drinking the NRA Kool-Aid and wake up to the need for commonsense gun regulation.  100,000 shootings a year, with 32,000 deaths, are too many to ignore!

ADDENDUM:  Another blogger sums it up pretty well:
Bud buys a handgun, as his paranoid friend Ted tells him "Obama is going to take away all our guns!".   And Ted says that spending Saturday afternoon at the range is "a lot of fun".   So Bud buys a handgun and ammunition at the local gun shop and spends a few weekends with Ted at the range.   At first it seems like fun and all, meeting new friends, and the thrill of firing a weapon.
But eventually, the thrill fades, and the cost of ammunition (inflated by the "shortage") starts to spoil the thrill a bit.   And Bud starts to realize that Ted has a lot of scary friends, and moreover, he has better things to do with his money.   So the Buds of the world lose interest, over time, and eventually, Bud decides to sell his handgun on Craigslist, as he needs the money.
I know a few Buds, personally.   Heck, there is a little Bud in all of us - latching on to the latest trendy fad, if just as a dilettante, before moving on to the next trendy thing.   The golf clubs in my garage attest to that.  I've been meaning to get out on the course (we only have four here on the island) but it seems something always comes up.   And suddenly four years go by, with no golfing...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

ASKing About Guns Where Your Children Play

Today, June 21, is National ASK Day.  Asking Saves Kids.

As responsible parents, we must ask the difficult questions for our children's safety when they visit a new place for the first time:  Will there always be someone with them?  Are the medicines locked up? Are there guns in the home?

And if there are guns, how are they stored?

As you can see in the graphic to the right, the statistics are shocking.  In many areas, including Oregon, 30-40% of homes with guns also have children, and a disturbing number of them, around 42%, don't lock them up!

Consider, for instance, the recent school shooting in Oregon.  The15-year old shooter got the AR-15 assault rifle, high-capacity ammo magazines, and handgun from under his brother's bed and from his brother's closet.

HERE is a previous blog post with some relevant statistics about children and guns.  For instance:

1 in 4 kids and teens whose parents own guns say they have seen or touched a gun without their parents’ knowledge.
Almost 90 percent of accidental shootings involving children are linked to an easy-to-find, loaded handgun in the house.

88% of the children who are injured or killed in unintentional shootings are shot in their own homes or in the homes of relatives or friends.
HERE is a previous blog post that compares parents' perceptions about guns in the home compared the reality shown by statistics.  It's shocking how underestimated the danger is.

With all of this in mind, Oregon's governor, John Kitzhaber, declared today ASKING SAVES KIDS DAY in Oregon.  Thank you, Governor Kitzhaber.

Personally, I feel guns and children simply don't mix.  Children are naturally curious and impetuous -- even the best kids.  And they have a knack for getting into places that we don't think they can, figuring out passwords and combinations, and finding keys.  Unless the lock is fingerprint-controlled, perhaps, no amount of locking of things will truly keep them out forever.

HERE is a good article and news video, where a mother here in Oregon talks about the issue and how important it is, and another woman discusses how she has to live every day with the guilt of her young friend dying from handling an unlocked gun.

HERE is another mother and gun owner, whose 13-year old son was in a sleepover when a friend picked up an unsecured, loaded gun and unintentionally shot her son to death.  In her words:
I never imagined that other parents were not as responsible as I am. I never thought to ask his friend's parents about how they stored their guns because I naively assumed everyone was like me.
Since Noah's death, I've learned that nine kids are shot unintentionally every day. I want people to understand that it's very important to practice gun safety if you own guns, and to ask each other if there are unlocked guns where a child may visit or play. As parents, we do so many other things to ensure our children's safety. We use car seats, seat belts, and put childproof caps on medicine. We keep knives out of their reach. We hold their hands when crossing the street. 

Learn from my pain. If you are a gun owner, lock and store your guns properly and don't assume kids will be mature and do the right thing. Don't be offended if someone asks you if your guns are locked and stored properly. And, most importantly, every parent should know that you have the right to ask if there is a gun where your child visits or plays. That one question may save your child's life.
The gun guys suggest that if we only "demystify" guns to children, by allowing them to handle them, the kids will become less curious and "safe."  But they have zero data to support them on this.  There are, however, plenty of data and psychological reports to suggest that children simply can't help themselves, even when they know it is wrong, particularly for boys.  The allure that these "bang machines" bring, combined with a gun-saturated society, makes for a deadly combination.  See the recent 20/20 expose, "Young Guns," to see how this is true (HERE is an excerpt).

This week, in Vancouver, Washington, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence put up a table and invited park-goers to learn about ASK, with a number of local political figures present as well:

The Asking Saves Kids campaign (ASK) wants parents to ask other parents if there are guns in their house and if they’re securely locked before allowing their children to go over and play.
“Make sure that they’re locked up in a safe and/or with some kind of a locking device and make sure the ammunition is stored separately,” said Heidi Yewman of the ASK campaign.
The local kickoff effort was held at Esther Short Park in Vancouver. Area officials, including Washington State Sen. Annette Cleveland, Rep. Jim Moeller, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and Police Chief James McElvain attended.
But pro-gun activists don't like the ASK campaign.  The deaths of innocents are too inconvenient for their "guns in all places" propaganda, and openly oppose safe storage of guns around children.  They held an "open carry" counter-rally in the same park to protest it, handguns on their hips, handing out pro-gun literature.   Why?  One "open carry" activist thinks his sense of privacy outweighs the safety of your children:
Rick Halle joined members of the Open Carry group in Vancouver and says he leads the Guns Rights Coalition in Washington.
"It's a privacy issue. ... If you're having to ask this you should question whether you're letting your children play there in the first place." Halle said. "That's something I don't want to answer … that's my personal deal. I don't think anybody else needs to know where I keep my firearms."
Pro-gun activists have even told me that, if asked, they would lie to the parents and say they don't have any guns in the home, simply because they feel their privacy is invaded!

More commonly, pro-gun activists oppose safe storage of guns because they feel that the few moments it takes to unlock and load a gun can make the difference if a rapist, druggy, gang member breaks into their home.  But the chance that your child will shoot themselves with your gun is FAR higher than the chance that you'd need to use that gun to defend yourself against a home invader.  I say the few seconds is worth the life of my child!  Nevermind that there are quick-release gun boxes, which use fingerprint recognition and open in less than a second, for a very reasonable price (less than the cost of the gun itself).  HERE is one, for instance.  As the San Antonio police chief recently put it
"If you say, 'Well, I've got to have my gun out and accessible because someone may break into my home,' that's not an excuse," he said. "Try using that excuse if your child gets a hold of it. (It's) not going to fly."

If you have a gun in your home and have children, if you feel you absolutely must have it, then lock it up.

And, whether you are a gun owner or not, and you have children, ask about guns in the homes where they visit.  It's quick and simple, and it can save their life!  As one author put it, "We can't be gun-shy when it comes to our kids."  Visit the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation page for ASK to get help on how to start the conversation:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yet Another School Shooting

(UPDATED -- see below)

It's been a sad week in Oregon.  There are shootings almost every day in Oregon, but this week has been more shocking than most.  Once again, guns got into the wrong hands -- a teen, who then took them to school and killed someone.  In this case, there are two teens dead (including the shooter) and one man injured.

Shooter Jared Padgett (source)
On Tuesday, June 10, 15-year old Jared Padgett woke up in the morning and broke into his father's "secured" guns, stealing an AR-15 assault rifle with nine magazines of ammunition "capable of firing several hundred rounds," a semi-auto handgun, and a knife, put them into a guitar case and duffel bag, and went to school on the school bus.  When asked by other students what was in the case and bag, he said they contained sports gear and a stand for his uniforms.  Once at his school, Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, he donned a "non-ballistic vest used for carrying ammunition and a multi-sport helmet" and entered into a locker room.  There he shot to death 14-year old Emilio Hoffman, shooting him twice in the chest, and encountered PE teacher and track coach Todd Rispler, grazing the man in the hip with a bullet.  Students said that it "sounded like fireworks were going off inside the school," from all the shots being fired.  Rispler fled from Padgett and went to the office, where he initiated a school-wide lockdown procedureTwo armed school resource officers, Nick Thompson and Kyle Harris, then found Padgett in the halls and exchanged fire with him.  Padgett retreated to a men's bathroom.  Eventually, as more police and SWAT responded, and the school were being evacuated, hands on heads, to a nearby Fred Meyers parking lot to awaiting, panicked parents, a remote-controlled robot with a camera went into the bathroom and found Padgett dead in a stall from a self-inflicted gunshot wound
Todd Rispler (source)

But the gun crimes weren't over.  One other boy, unrelated to the shooting, was found to have a gun on him on school grounds as he sat in a classroom.  He was arrested and taken away.  Why did he have a gun, and where did he get it?  Was he planning on shooting someone, too, unrelated to the Padgett's shooting??

And another man, 21-year old Joseff Powell, who feared for his 15-year old freshman sister's safety, had rushed to an evacuation area at a church, where students were being corralled, evaded a police checkpoint, and was caught with a unlawfully concealed, loaded 9mm semi-auto handgun.  The man claimed "he didn't realize" he had a weapon on him.

Why did young Jared decide to go shooting at his high school?  According to his own diary, he was on a mission to cleanse the world of "sinners."  He was a religious fundamentalist and, since age 12, a deacon in the local Mormon church, where he was thought of as "being quiet" but "highly regarded for his spirituality" by church elders.

But it was more than this, wasn't it?  His parents had just gone through a messy divorce, and his father, no doubt a very pro-gun person, since he owned an assault rifle, had custody of Jared and at least one of his five siblings.  Doubtless this affected young Jared's mindset.  Had his father instilled in him any of the pro-gun paranoia I often report on here at New Trajectory?  I do not know.

And though Jared was, in many ways, a "normal kid" who liked to talk about girls and cars and often seemed friendly, he was also known to be "conceited at times", talk back to teachers, and had an anger streak.

He also "showed off about guns" to his friends, talking about his guns and bullets at home, and "loved guns," and got training in arms as a member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Core (JROTC) as a means of one day entering the military.  One can assume, then, that he was trained in gun safety and had gotten all the admonitions about handling guns inappropriately.  Doubtless he went shooting with his father, too. 

Just to re-emphasize:  this boy, who was known to have angry outbursts, arms training, and an unstable family life, and who "showed off about guns," was in a household with guns which were clearly not secured well enough.

14-year old victim, Emilio Hoffman (source)
And as for the young victim, Emilio Hoffman, one of the 3000 or so children shot to death in America a vigil was held in his honor with candles and prayers.  Services are scheduled for June 22.  Likely he wasn't targeted by the shooter, but was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  According to an article:
each year in America,

He enjoyed science, history and played on the Reynolds Raiders junior varsity soccer team. Coaches tweeted that he was "a great soccer player and a great friend."
“Soccer was his whole life,” Jennifer Hoffman said.
After his death was announced Tuesday, there was an outpouring of support for him on social media.
“Emilio loved his friends, and his friends loved him. You couldn't be around Emilio without laughing,” his mother said Wednesday. “Anyone who has ever met Emilio laughed with him.”

That's another beautiful life extinguished by gun violence.

So, as life starts to return to some semblance of "normal" at Reynolds High School, with around 2000 students and their families traumatized, what are we to learn?

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been 74 shootings at American schools and colleges, more than one shooting a week when classes are in session, including 39 at K-12 schools like this one.  The vast majority of these have been committed by students who accessed their parents' guns.  HERE and below is a map of those 74 shootings, and HERE is a listing of them.
Shootings at K-12 schools in red, at colleges/universities in purple. Everytown for Gun Safety/Mark Gongloff (source)

Clearly more needs to be done.  Better security at schools?  Sadly, lockdown drills at schools have become as common as fire drills, and armed security guards are becoming necessary.  But it certainly comes with risks, particularly in the hands of non-police.  I know of at least ten examples of where legally-armed security guards, police, and conceal carry holders have CAUSED incidents, including the injuring of children, on school grounds, despite the NRA line that schools should arm their teachers and staff.  None have ever stopped a shooting, but armed police (not citizens) have limited the shootings in a handful of cases (including this one and the Sandy Hook shooting).  Should students carry bulletproof blankets with them in the hallways, as one Oklahoma company attempts to convince us?  What about bulletproof backpacks and vests?  A round from an AR-15, like the one used in the Reynolds and Sandy Hook shootings, would go right through these.  Short of turning schools into prisons, there is no way to completely prevent a school shooting.

Making fortresses of our schools doesn't solve the problem, it merely treats the symptoms.  Instead, we need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them in the first place, including children.  One way to do this is to mandate a state-wide (or, better yet, nation-wide) Child Access Protection (CAP) law.  One such bill is being re-introduced in Oregon.  In the 23 states that have implemented CAP laws, accidental and suicide shootings among children, teens, and even adults have dramatically decreased, sometimes by as much as 50%!  See statistics on CAP laws HERE.

And let's not forget that this is just one of the many shootings that happen each week in Oregon, which are dutifully recorded at the Oregon Shootings Facebook page. 

Lawmakers weighed in.  Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber said in a statement, "Today Oregon hurts as we try to make sense of a senseless act of violence."  But other than offering his thoughts and prayers, there was no call for action.  President Obama was more straightforward, stating, "My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” and, in response to the insanely high number of shootings in America, "We should be ashamed of that. There’s no place else like this."

And what did the Oregon gun lobby group, Oregon Firearms Federation, have to say about the school shooting?  Nothing, of course.  The deaths of innocents are inconvenient for their "guns everywhere" agenda.  They decided instead to release a statement about fears of a ban on lead ammunition.  Real thoughtful.

I'll leave this post with the words of one of the Reynolds High School teachers, Seth Needler, who experienced the fear of huddling in a dark classroom with his students during the lockdown, hearing distant gunfire and wondering if the shooter would walk into his room.  Having survived the experience, does he feel like arming himself and his coworkers?  Far from it.  An excerpt from his Facebook post:

I don’t blame this on a mentally unhinged youth, although that might be what it was, or on lax security, or even on society’s general decline. This was a case, like all the other recent school shootings, of gun violence due to lax gun regulation, and the proliferation of military assault weapons in the hands of everyday citizens.
I’m sick and tired of hearing gun enthusiasts claim that any kind of gun regulation is an attack on the second amendment, or that the solution to gun violence is more guns. I completely fail to understand how one organization, which is the lobbying arm of one industry, can control every politician in Congress to the extent of preventing any action at all on gun control, even after polls show that 90% of Americans are in favor of it.
But every time another shooting happens, and undoubtedly this will be no exception, people (including me and my family and friends) sigh, groan, bemoan the incident, talk about how awful it is, criticize the NRA and its lopsided influence, and then do…nothing. The only constituency that responds with any energy to incidents of gun violence is gun enthusiasts, who declare that it just provides more proof of their hypothesis that schools need to be staffed with U.S. Marshalls and teachers need to be armed and carry loaded weapons. Rather than stricter gun regulation, we get weakening of the existing regulation, and states literally pushing each other out of the way to be the most liberal when it comes to who can carry weapons into how many different venues, including churches, schools and even bars. Everybody laughs about it on late night TV, and then goes back to their business.

He goes on to suggest a number of commonsense gun regulations and then finishes with a call to action:

I can’t sit around anymore and do nothing. I encourage anyone reading this to take action also. Politicians say all the time that they get far more calls from their pro-gun constituents than the other 90% of us. Nothing will change without a massive, concerted uprising from us, the people. .... 
Isn’t it time to put the NRA in its place? If not now, when?

UPDATE (6/15/14): The family of the shooter, Jared Padgett, released a statement apologizing for the actions of their son, saying that they are "horrified and distaught" and that they tried to instill good values in him.  They said nothing about how the way their guns were stored or took any responsibility for it.

ADDENDUM (6/16/14):  A related blog post from another blogger, HERE and HERE.

UPDATE (6/18/14):  Last night, a vigil was held for the victim, Emilio Hoffman. Hundreds showed up to participate, including the family of the shooter.

UPDATE (6/19/14):  According to newly-released police information, the shooter got the weapons and a duffel bag used to carry them from his brother's room, who lived with him.  The report doesn't describe any "security measures" that were overcome by the shooter to get the guns.  There were also other guns and weapons found in the suspect's home.  The article also has additional details about the moment-to-moment of the shooting:
When detectives spoke with Padgett’s brother, they learned that he owns the weapons detectives later found at the school. The weapons, police said, were stored in Padgett’s older brother’s room, and that the two shared a room, the affidavit states. 
On the day of the shooting, Padgett’s older brother went to the Wood Village Fred Meyer, which is where students were taken by bus after being evacuated, the affidavit states. “He was unable to locate his brother,” the affidavit states. 
Padgett’s older brother went home “and saw that his rifle was not in the bedroom where he left it,” and could not explain where it had gone, the affidavit states. Detectives showed Padgett’s older brother a photo of the green bag and confirmed that it was in fact his bag that was issued to him as part of the United States Army Reserve program, the affidavit states.