WASHINGTON - Nine people were killed after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. The gunman was identified as 26-year old Chris Harper Mercer.
Mercer reportedly demanded his victims state their religion before firing. In the wake of the tragedy, President Obama called for stricter gun laws saying it's not enough to offer prayers to the victims.
Forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren joined us to discuss the impact of the Oregon campus shootings.
According to Van Susteren, in the last seven years, the number of active shooter incidents have tripled compared to the previous seven years.
"It's almost always the same profile, she said. "It’s a person who feels insignificant and who feels humiliated by the fact that he's unimportant. He takes it out on innocent people around him and seeks the spotlight at the same time. So that's the formula. We see it over and over again. And these people are able to get guns."
The fact that people can buy a gun quickly and easily without a comprehensive background check opens us up to problems, she says.
"The reality is, that when we look at the states where there are stricter gun laws, there are fewer incidents of gun violence," she said. She added that it’s almost impossible, under current policies, to keep people with mental illness from getting a weapon.
"It's proven that it works - stricter gun laws mean fewer guns and fewer incidents of gun violence," Van Susteren said.
One of the most sickening aspects of the campus shooting was the number of social media users who seemed to encourage the shooting to act out.
"I have to admit, the last time I went to a movie a few weeks ago was after the recent gun incident in the south, and I had a momentary flash of fear," Van Susteren said. "There were only a couple of doors in this big open space. And this is really permeating the culture. This is not freedom."