Reynolds teacher: Citizens need to overcome power of NRA lobbyists

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by Tim Gordon, KGW Staff

KREM.com

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A science teacher is using his Facebook page to share how he feels after a shooting at the school where he’s worked for 14 years.

Seth Needler was with his students when the shooting and lockdown happened this week. He turned out the lights and got down on the ground on one side of his classroom with about 40 of his students.

Read Seth Needler's Facebook Post

“And I was just thinking about my family and wondering what was happening … I was just stunned at the realization that a shooting was happening, I was really shocked,” said Needler.

Later that day, Needler took to his Facebook page to post his feelings. He shared how he feels about a world where he and students had to be evacuated, to learn of the violence and deaths at Reynolds.

He also put out a call to action, for people to become more powerful than the gun lobby. He’d like to see lawmakers sign a pledge to not pass laws that make it any easier to sell guns, especially assault-style rifles.

“It’s not the solution but it gives people something they can rally behind. And just like conservatives can go and say ‘I voted against taxes,’ these reps or senators could say ‘I voted against guns,'” said Needler.

Kevin Starrett thinks efforts to add more gun regulations are misguided. He is the founder of the Oregon Firearms Federation.

“You have people who believe in controlling other people’s lives and politicians who can’t let a tragedy go to waste … they’ve had background checks, they’ve had bans on guns, they’ve had required storage -- none of that matters," Starrett said. "Until we know what makes people do these things … the most sensible thing is to say at least let’s respond to it.”

Starrett said he believes allowing responsible gun owners to carry firearms on campus would stop many threats sooner.

Needler knows what he experienced at Reynolds High School this week. And he knows more than 2,000 people have shared his Facebook post about it since he wrote it this week, and counting.

“It tells me there are a lot of people who want to do something to fix the problem, but they don’t know what to do,” said Needler.

KGW reporter Tim Gordon wil be reporting further on the debate over gun control.

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