The father of the 26-year-old who went on a shooting rampage at an Oregon community college apologized to the families of the victims Saturday as well as called for stricter gun control.
Ian Mercer told CNN’s Ryan Young that his son, 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, “will always be remembered for what he did on Thursday.” Mercer said he had “no idea” that his son owned any guns and thought the question of how he obtained them needed to be asked.
“You know, they talk about gun laws, they talk about gun control. Every time something like this happens, they talk about it, and nothing is done,” Mercer said. “I’m not trying to say that that’s to blame for what happened, but if Chris had not been able to get ahold of 13 guns, it wouldn’t have happened.”
On Saturday, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said investigators found an additional gun at Harper-Mercer’s place of residence, bringing the grand total of his arsenal to 14. Harper-Mercer opened fire Thursday afternoon at Umpqua Community College and killed nine people before he killed himself.
“You don’t see these kinds of mass shootings all over the world on a consistent basis like you do in the United States. So somebody has to ask the question, ‘how is it so easy to get all these guns?’ Mercer continued. “I’ve never held a gun in my life, and I never want to. But I know there are people that do.”
Mercer added that he’s a “great believer” in that people should not buy guns and gun laws have to change.
“Even people that believe in the right to bear arms, what right do you have to take people’s lives? That’s what guns are — the killers,” Mercer said. “It’s as simple as that.”
He added that he wasn’t able to comment on his son’s mental state besides his belief that the 26-year-old must have had “some mental issue” in order to kill nine people.
Of his relationship with his son, Mercer said, “he was my son.” According to him, there wasn’t any kind of “disharmony” between the two, and he lived with is mother.
Watch CNN’s interview with Mercer below.