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Ceasefire Oregon’s Responds to Roseburg News Review

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

The News Review recently published a letter from Terry Stafford entitled “Working, tax paying citizens they are not” in which he suggested “shooting this year’s crop of protestors” and then “burying them at sea.” (January 25, 2017)

Mr. Stafford apparently believes that by doing so, the “socialists” would think twice about trying to bring down the United States. To the paper’s credit, the letter was withdrawn and apology issued to the readers acknowledging that the letter violated the New Review’s own publishing guidelines for their public forum content.

We are sure that many in Douglas County were appalled by the letter and what it says about our community.

The tragedy at Umpqua Community College and the fact that Douglas County has the eleventh highest rate of gun deaths in Oregon(1) is testimony to the violence suffered here. That there are some in the community who advocate more violence should alarm all of us regardless of political party or persuasion.

The time has come for Roseburg and Douglas County to have an honest, open and frank talk about gun violence and the role guns play in the community. We ask our elected officials and community leaders to convene such a meeting, perhaps sponsored by the News Review, with the express purpose of reducing the scourge of gun violence n the community. If such a meeting took place, then maybe Mr. Stafford’s letter would have done some good. As it stands now, none can come from it.

(1)Douglas County

Population: 109,385

Hunting permits: 6.4%

Concealed-carry permits per 10K: 798.8

Dealers per 10K: 5.3

Gun deaths per 100K: 14.7

Suicide-by-gun deaths per 100K: 12.5

Homicide-by-gun deaths per 100K: 2.0