A young lone gunman killed nine people at an American college - Umpqua Community College in Roseburg on Thursday morning.
He is reported to have ordered students to stand up and state their religion before shooting. The suspect, who has been named in reports as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, died in a subsequent exchange of gunfire with police in Oregon. Three handguns and a "long gun" belonging to the attacker have been recovered from the scene.
“This is one further incident in a horrifying sequence of shootings on campuses of US colleges and schools which have cut short young lives in tragic circumstances. Education International calls for better control of access to guns in the USA and improved security on school premises”, says Fred van Leeuwen, EI General Secretary.
EI also extends its condolences to the families of those who have died and its sympathies to teachers, education workers and students across the US who continue to endure this risk of violent death by shooting in their workplaces. Schools and colleges should be safe sanctuaries which provide a positive learning environment in which young people may develop to their full potential without the risk that their young lives may be cut short by violence. It is time that the US authorities recognised that the right to bear arms, if there is such a right, must be outweighed by the right to live and work in peace and security, whether in schools and colleges or in society generally.