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Oct 2, 2015 5:56 PM

Oregon shooting sparks gun control debate


ROSEBURG, Ore. - Authorities released the names, ages and brief biographical information about the nine people who died when a 20-year-old gunman targeted an Oregon community college Thursday. In the meantime, the shooting has once again sparked the gun control debate.

The victims of the deadly Oregon college shooting ranged in age from 18 to 67 and included several freshman students and a teacher.

Nine people were injured. The shooter died in a gunfire exchange with police.

President Barack Obama is lamenting the inability to pass stricter gun laws. Obama said at a news conference Friday at the White House that interest groups and Republican politicians know how to organize and raise money. He says the American people must match their sense of urgency if the country is to stop the flood of mass shootings. The president says he plans to keep talking about the issue and "will politicize it" because inaction is itself a political decision the U.S. is making.

Gun advocates argue the solution to mass shootings isn’t restricting gun access.

“If the people in that school had been able to defend themselves we wouldn’t have had this horrible thing,” said Penny Dean, a Concord attorney.

“All you have to do is look at the facts in this country and every time we get citizens allowed to carry firearms, crime drops,” Dean said.

But the President offered a differing opinion.

“We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths,” President Obama said.

Obama says it's impossible to identify mentally ill people likely to perpetrate mass shootings ahead of time. He says the only thing the U.S. can do is ensure they don't have an arsenal available "when something in them snaps."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

READ - After school shooting, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, renews her call for tougher mental health screening


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