Talk:Umpqua Community College shooting

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RfC: Is "Mass murder" or "Mass shooting" more appropriate in infobox?[edit]

Consensus to include both Mass shooting and Mass murder in the infobox. Alsee (talk) 20:21, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the infobox contain the term for the incident "Mass shooting", "Mass murder", or both? -- WV 05:46, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Mass shooting[edit]

  • Support. The reliable sources in the article and internet searches seem to support both, however, "Mass shooting" appears to be the most prevalently and consistently used in reliable sources, even months after the incident. Further, "Mass shooting" is more specific whereas "Mass murder" gives no indication as to the method. As well, "shooting" in the title of the article, which seems to make "Mass shooting" a no-brainer. -- WV 05:46, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Mass murder[edit]


Per what I've said above. This isn't worth an RFC as it only slows down the editing process.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Per what I said above. To summarize, both are accurate (this was a mass murder as defined by the FBI, according to our article); neither alone is fully descriptive of the event ("shooting" does not necessarily mean killing); not that it matters but both are used in reliable sources. Agree that RfCs should be reserved for more important matters and this is a regrettable waste of the community's time. (talk) 16:38, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Ensuing discussion moved to #Discussion 1. (talk) 18:16, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Both.  It is important to point out the kind of attack it was; it is also important to point out that people were actually killed.
Richard27182 (talk) 11:20, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Support use of both terms (perhaps alternately by mention) in the article, to make clear that the shooting resulted in fatalities and that the murders were caused by shooting. Cordless Larry (talk) 17:47, 11 December 2015 (UTC)


I'm assuming that 3 to 1 settles the matter for "both. "Is that correct? Activist (talk) 12:37, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

No. We don't count votes, we seek consensus via discussion and comments (the 'c' in RfC). And RfCs by default can stay open for 30 days. It's barely been what -- a little over one day? Besides, what's the hurry? Rome wasn't built in a day, and because it's not a newspaper and is never truly completed, there's no deadline in Wikipedia. -- WV 15:52, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
If every decision on Wikipedia took 30 days, very little would get done. This could have been solved several days ago by giving both in the infobox. This RfC is little more than a WP:HORSEMEAT debate in an attempt to drum up support for the "mass shooting" option.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:51, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I've gone to RfC several times in almost three years, when I strongly disagreed with the local consensus. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's an abuse of the RfC process to use it for what amounts to a large nit. Experienced editors should know better. (talk) 18:05, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Off topic
"I've gone to RfC several times in almost three years" A very interesting comment considering your editing history shows your first edit was just two weeks ago. I hope you aren't a block-evader, anon IP. -- WV 18:11, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
This, mere minutes after "Your total lack of good faith is, sadly, noted", below, and "Please keep your comments focused on edits, not editors", above. Winkelvi, I've seen chronic hypocrisy at Wikipedia, but you take it to a whole new level. You have made an art of correcting and criticizing others while being completely unable to examine your own behavior. Stunning. Save your false righteous indignation. (talk) 18:20, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
You just admitted to having edited under another account or other IPs. If you are socking -- and because of your own words it seems very possible you are -- then it's on you to disclose that fact. There's no bad faith here, just observing and pointing out what you, yourself, so obviously stated. -- WV 18:31, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I "admitted" to editing under something other than this IP address, and there is nothing wrong with doing that. Registered editors can edit logged out, and IP addresses can change. There are editors whose IPv6 addresses change at least daily. Despite the fact that they can start over with a new block log at least once a day, the community has seen no problem with this, as evidenced in discussions at WP:ANI. Socking refers to using such things for illicit purposes, such as pretending to be multiple editors to gain advantage in a discussion. If you wish to accuse me of that, this is not the place to do it. You have been around more than long enough to know these things. ―Mandruss  18:42, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Well, you came clean, Mandruss. I knew something was quite familiar in your writing and communication style as the IP. Anyway, this RfC isn't the place to discuss further. At least now we know the truth. -- WV 18:49, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

No, I didn't come clean. I intended to post that logged out, but I logged in to check something and then forgot to log out again. There was nothing to "come clean" about. You're right, this isn't the place, which is why you were out of line to bring it up here. Stop breaking the rules and then correcting others for doing the same, please. It's unseemly. (talk) 18:56, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Your total lack of good faith is, sadly, noted, Ian. -- WV 18:07, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I pointed out that the "both" option was good enough at San Ysidro McDonald's massacre. This RfC is going to stagnate long before the thirty days is up.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:10, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Please see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS for why the example of another article not a good argument. -- WV 18:33, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm well aware of otherstuffexists, but can't see why this has become such a major issue.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:44, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't know how major an issue it is. I just know that I personally disagree with "mass murder" being used in the infobox, and, it would seem others likely do as well who have edited the article previously and didn't include the classification in the infobox. That's why it's best to wait for any and all involved and interested in the article to comment. That can a while. Especially when there is a major holiday occurring at the same time. -- WV 19:12, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Discussion 1[edit]

Moved from !vote by in #Both. (talk) 18:16, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

"As defined by the FBI" -- the FBI didn't write the article. "according to our article" -- where is the FBI quoted in the article as saying the shooting was a mass murder? Also, anon IP, please reserve your displeasure over the existence of this RfC for rewriting RfC policy and guidelines. If you must comment in such a manner, it's more appropriate for the "Discussion" sub-section of this RfC. -- WV 22:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
The article cites the FBI's definition of "mass murder", and that definition encompasses the undisputed facts of this case. We are thinking beings and we don't need a secondary source to confirm that this case meets that definition, any more than we need a secondary source to confirm that Roseburg, Oregon is in the U.S., another fact stated in the infobox. Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue. I'll ignore the rest as the combative lecturing that it is. (talk) 23:10, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Please be specific as to where this cite is. As far as being thinking human beings and not needing secondary sources, I'm not sure what you mean by that. Wikipedia's threshold for inclusion is the reliance on secondary sources. -- WV 01:06, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
1. Go to the Mass murder article, which I linked above for your convenience and link again here.
2. Locate the one occurrence of "FBI" in the article text. You can use your browser's Find function, or you can visually locate it there in the article's first paragraph.
3. Note that it speaks of the FBI's definition of the term.
4. Locate the citations following that definition. It must be one of those.
5. You will find the definition in the second of those citations. If you search for "mass murder" you will find this prose: Generally, mass murder was described as a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders. These events typically involved a single location, where the killer murdered a number of victims in an ongoing incident (e.g. the 1984 San Ysidro McDonalds incident in San Diego, California; the 1991 Luby’s Restaurant massacre in Killeen, Texas; and the 2007 Virginia Tech murders in Blacksburg, Virginia).
6. Ask yourself why I was able to find that in a few minutes, and yet you found it so impossibly difficult.
Feel free to point to an equally authoritative source for a definition of "mass murder" that does not encompass the facts of this case. Re the rest of your comment, I have previously addressed that. You disagree, I get that. I think we have both stated our cases adequately and I'd propose that we end this and wait for other comments (I, for one, won't feel the need to counter every !vote that I disagree with; I don't think that's helpful in an RfC). (talk) 01:48, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
1. The mass murder article in Wikipedia means nothing in relation to this discussion or this article. We don't reference Wikipedia with Wikipedia. 2. You still have not provided a reliable reference in this article relating to the FBI and mass murder. 3., 4., 5. Same as 2. 6. Please keep your comments focused on edits, not editors. Yes, let's wait for other editors to comment, however, actually answering the question(s) I asked would be helpful as well as collegial. -- WV 16:14, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
You'll note that "mass shooting" isn't cited either. It does not need to be because it passes WP:V. "Mass murder" also passes WP:V and does not need to be cited. But, if would satisfy you, I could support adding a citation for each of the three items currently in the infobox plus mass murder. It would just be a little unsightly, unnecessary clutter. (talk) 16:40, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Let's try this again: "according to our article" -- where is the FBI quoted in the article as saying the shooting was a mass murder? I am referring -- as it seemed you were when you made the statement -- to this article. -- WV 16:44, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

"According to our article" referred to the Mass murder article which has been linked twice before in this RfC and once in the earlier discussion thread. Of the two articles, which one contains the FBI definition? Is it not obvious to an intelligent person, then, which one I was referring to?
As is often the case, there is nothing in policy which clearly points one way or the other in this specific situation. So we're left to interpretation and judgment, and mine and others' differ from yours. This is becoming circular and I long ago learned to avoid circular arguments. (talk) 17:16, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Chris Harper-Mercer was not a white supremacist. He was biracial (his mother was black) and killed eight whites and a Hispanic (all for following what many think of as the white man's religion.   — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:8B11:8F20:6CE8:4F78:84C:FB86 (talk) 23:42, 5 November 2017 (UTC) 

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Don't avoid redirects[edit]

Re: [1]

Plainclothes law enforcement is, I think, a prime example of a redirect with possibilities. Its target is a section in Undercover operation, which states that plainclothes is in fact distinct from undercover. This suggests that plainclothes may well become a separate article in the future. Is it not better to use the redirect in case this happens? This is one of the rationales covered at WP:NOTBROKEN. I'm reverting the above edit.

Parsley Man, I've noticed other recent edits of yours that seem to be designed solely to avoid redirects. This should not be a goal, per NOTBROKEN. ―Mandruss  17:28, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Reading while pregnant to son[edit]

Numerous news sources felt the mother's writing was significant enough to publish it. They quoted her on line writings about it. It reflects somewhat on her thoughts and state of mind regarding her son. Activist (talk) 09:54, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

@Activist: It's not a bio of Harper-Mercer, and I see no relevance to the article subject, which is the shooting. Appearance in reliable sources, alone, is not sufficient reason to include, per WP:ONUS. Our inclusion criteria are different from those of the media. I would prefer it stayed out until there is consensus to include it, per ONUS. ―Mandruss  10:15, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I expect other editors have the page watchlisted. What do you say to leaving it in for a few days and see what kind of feedback results? Also, Laurel extensively mentioned her attitude and affinity toward firearms, and such a mention is included in the article in its current state. Although I think I posted a couple of dozen times in the few weeks following the shooting, I haven't followed it closely since. Activist (talk) 10:22, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
The talk page is automatically watchlisted when the article is watchlisted. Thus, said feedback will occur anyway. There is no provision in policy for leaving disputed content in the article to see how people feel about it, and I'm opposed to doing that, since you asked. ―Mandruss  10:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay. Thanks for your patience. Activist (talk) 07:10, 7 August 2016 (UTC)


Entirely too much weight was given to the shooter's name (which basic decency insists should not be given at all, or once at most), and the victims are barely even mentioned; The instructor is only vaguely identified as "the teacher" and all of the victims are mentioned in one big jumble, treated as trash to be sorted, while the little bastard who did this sick act of terrorism is practically lauded as some kind of hero, given every possible mention. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

With due respect, you're not the first person with no knowledge of Wikipedia content policy to say this at various articles like this. The applicable principle, embodied mostly in the policy WP:DUE, is that our coverage needs to be proportional to coverage in reliable sources (in this case, primarily news sources). The news media gave far more attention to him than his victims. Furthermore the victims were randomly selected and passive actors in the events, and Wikipedia articles are not memorials. ―Mandruss  16:30, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
We're not going down the path of damnatio memoriae as recommended by Sheriff John Hanlin, as WP:NOTCENSORED applies here; this has been discussed before. As for listing the names of all of the victims, I'm not a fan of doing this per WP:NOTMEMORIAL as it doesn't add much useful information about the shooting.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:50, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

≠== Open carry laws ==

Re this edit: it may well be true that Oregon has open carry laws, but adding it to the lead looks like trying to make a point. After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, numerous gun enthusiasts pointed out that if staff at the school had been carrying guns, the shooting might have been prevented. The reality is that the average school teacher or student on campus is not open carrying in case there is a mass shooting.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:07, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

The source covers a 2011 Oregon law that essentially requires colleges to allow concealed carry on campus, and it discusses that law in the context of this shooting. I don't think it belongs in the lead but it would be a good fit for the last paragraph of the Reactions section where other gun laws are discussed. –dlthewave 17:23, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
If it goes in the body, it needs to go in the lead as well. It was very widely discussed. Meanwhile Ianmacm has been revert warring it out entirely, and it's clear from his comments above that he is doing this to support his own personal beliefs.GliderMaven (talk) 17:29, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
This is a primary source so it lacks context. The Guardian article points out that Oregon allows guns to be concealed carried on campus, but there is a risk of using this for original research. Specifically, the Guardian article says "Oregon is one of fewer than a dozen states, along with more conservative counterparts like Mississippi and Utah, which allow concealed carry on college campuses." After Stoneman Douglas, gun enthusiasts argued that the way forward was to have everyone armed to the teeth. While schools and colleges may need to have armed guards, it's questionable whether teachers and students want to have this type of gun carrying as a regular feature of everyday life, and it is not the point that the Guardian source is trying to make. In fact, the Guardian article says "A frequent refrain among conservatives is that violent rampages happen in places like college campuses and movie theaters precisely because guns are banned there. The thinking goes that someone setting out to commit a massacre can select a target where he is reasonably assured not to encounter an armed citizen. (There is no evidence of a shooter ever selecting a target precisely because it is a gun-free zone.)", then adding "In the Umpqua case, though, at least one student (and likely others) was carrying a concealed weapon during the massacre. Needless to say, this did not prevent the tragedy."--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:39, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
@Ianmacm: I agree that the source is OR and should not be cited in this case, but I don't follow the OR concern for the other source. The statement was presented as a simple fact and wasn't being used to support a certain viewpoint or conclusion. Do you have any suggestions for improving the sentence? –dlthewave 17:57, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
The point that the Guardian article makes is that despite allowing guns on campus, the shooting happened anyway. After Stoneman Douglas, there was a rethink about how schools should prevent this type of attack. One school in Pennsylvania armed students and teachers with rocks.[2] In the event of an active shooter, they are expected to grab the five-gallon bucket of river stones and throw them at the shooter. "One high school senior said he supports the plan, adding that throwing rocks is better than throwing books or pencils" (no, I'm not making this up). The question of how schools and colleges should defend against this type of attack is relevant, but in this article it isn't WP:LEAD material and should be looked at later on. At the time of the shooting, Umpqua Community College allowed concealed carry, another source here. This is an interesting source. It points out that John Parker, a 36-year-old Army veteran and several other people had concealed carry weapons on campus at the time, but did not fire them during the shooting. It says "A college employee talked them out of leaving to try to use their guns to save others. The active shooter could have taken them down first. Law enforcement officers already on the scene would not have known their guns would be used to defend students and instructors, not hurt them, he said. "If we would have run across the field, we would have been targets," he said. "We made a good choice at the time." This is something worth adding to the article. Anyone using a gun during an active shooter incident risks being shot by law enforcement.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:28, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Absent directly related resulting legislation or something equally weighty, I agree that we shouldn't touch on political issues in the lead. Otherwise no opinion. ―Mandruss  19:11, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
There is a video interview with John Parker here. It's rather long (5:25) but at around the 1:45 mark, he makes the same point that despite having a gun with him at the time, he was talked out of tackling the active shooter and asked to remain inside the building where he was.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:21, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Inappropriate category[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The category, anti-Christian killings had been added recently. In fact, the killer asked what religion his intended victims were and one said "agnostic," and another, "pagan." The teacher was ethnic Jewish and raised in that faith, but appears to have been secular. One young woman was 7th Day Adventist. The faith or lack of same of the victims did not seem to affect Harper-Mercer's homicidal intent. Consequently, I removed the category. Activist (talk) 10:10, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Telling Christians they will go to heaven before shooting them is definitely anti-Christian sentiment in my book. Wikipedia isn't a court, but I imagine there are some lawyers who could sell it to a jury too. I'm pretty set on requesting deletion for the hate crimes against christians cat, and for now I'm ambivalent about restoring anti-Christian sentiment here - I guess it's fine to keep them classed as "mass shootings" for now, but there are a lot of reasons why the "Religion" aspect gets discounted, and one is because it has in the past ended up being exploited, and media coverage has learned over the years to be more careful about both the religion and the celebrity angles. But it's still discussed at length in scholarship and it doesn't absolutely need a cat to be discussed in the articles, though its probably still too soon here.Seraphim System (talk) 13:00, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
We know (and Harper-Mercer knew) for sure that at least three of the eight killed weren't Christians. Gerry Spence would have a hard time selling a case of religious discrimination to a jury that was vetted by both sides in such a hypothetical case. Mercer was purely and simply a lunatic, who killed all those people so, per his own writings, he could become famous, posthumously. The Daily Mail source, no surprise, identifies his mom as a "nurse." She was actually an LVN. He was simply into tormenting his victims, and no doubt was able to do that by asking that question. He also told his victims that shooting them wouldn't hurt them. There have even been mass shootings in churches that were not likely "anti-Christian" such as Charleston, where the motivation was racism, and the Sutherland Springs church shooting, where the motivation was personal animus to the shooter's mother-in-law, a parishioner. Activist (talk) 03:44, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
There are usually a combination of factors in mass shootings—antireligious sentiment, white supremacy/neonazism/racism, military culture, psychiatric background and celebrity/media influence are major ones. Unlike other types of murders, parents and possible childhood problems are hardly ever looked at and there is a culture of "don't blame the parents" - the response to these shootings is so vitriolic that it's not surprising. Due to the intense media pressure and social pressure following these types of shootings it can take upwards of 10 years before those involved feel safe enough to discuss it. There is more to it then an oversimplified analysis to "random targeting" - though, yes, generally it is thought that the in the moment targeting is random/indiscriminate that doesn't have much to do with the factors that contribute to the shooting happening in the first place. Seraphim System (talk) 03:55, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
The RS is too flimsy for this category in my opinion. There is the report of what he said, and the rest is a lot of speculation stemming from that, at least some of it agenda-based, which should count for nothing for our purposes. "Telling those who replied in the affirmative that they would go to heaven" could just as easily be interpreted as pro-Christian. "He made a woman beg for her life before shooting her" could be interpreted as misogyny, and "One victim...was killed while trying to climb back into a wheelchair at his orders" could be interpreted as contempt for the disabled. That is, if one is prone to allowing this kind of reasoning into their Wikipedia editing. The article states that "no online evidence of anti-Christian rhetoric was found." Ultimately, what we have is a big "maybe", and we shouldn't categorize based on maybes. ―Mandruss  17:32, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
I already requested speedy for the hate crimes category due to there not being enough articles to populate the category, so I'm closing this discussion.Seraphim System (talk) 19:10, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.