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Originally published June 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Page modified June 6, 2014 at 5:18 PM

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Editorial: Healing at Seattle Pacific University amid an epidemic of violence

Americans must respond to the assault on their safety and values with support for basic gun laws: universal background checks for all gun sales.

Seattle Times Editorial

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If I recall correctly, half of the victims in Isla Vista were fatally stabbed. What's that, "knife violence?" Or maybe... MORE
In the civilized world the idea that idiots with guns are a grave threat to our well being should be beyond discussion.... MORE
we have to start taking seriously the mental health crisis going on in this country. Apparently this shooter was... MORE


MOMENTS of terror on the tranquil campus of Seattle Pacific University will heal with the certain knowledge and prayerful gratitude that good people will do the right thing.

Amid the madness of another murderous episode in a culture awash in guns, Jon Meis, a senior working as a building monitor, tackled a gunman as he was reloading his shotgun.

Courage, conscience and sense of duty inspired a physical and mental response that no doubt spared the campus more carnage.

The grievous tally was halted at one dead and two wounded thanks to Meis’ selfless act of bravery.

The vigorous response of Seattle police and emergency medical crews is another point of pride that helped a community navigate a horrific afternoon.

The epidemic of violence that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray spoke to at the university Thursday afternoon must be confronted with the same courage and determination demonstrated by Meis, a 22-year-old engineering student from Renton.

Sadly these murderous assaults are not isolated. The contagion of gun violence affecting America has a bloody trail from Seattle’s Central District to Isla Vista, Calif., Newtown, Conn., and beyond.

Confronting these lethal, self-indulgent episodes is not easy. Conversations about events from urban drive-by shootings to assaults on college students are confused and fearful.

In the same week that Seattle suffers a double homicide on its streets, and madness flares on a campus, demonstrators in Texas parade into local businesses armed like Boko Haram. Even the National Rifle Association was stunned, until it wimped out and retreated.

No magic cure exists for the ravages and wretched excesses for America’s politically volatile gun culture. Progress will be incremental. Start with universal background checks for all gun sales.

Mindless, whiny excuses for the invocation of violence and the use of weapons to settle perceived personal grievances should be condemned from the town square to the chat room.

Further arming America is the gravest mistake that will no doubt be proposed. Idiots with guns in the pancake house and grocery store represent yet another type of menace to public safety.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Lance Dickie, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

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