NASHVILLE -- Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is encouraging fellow Christians to arm themselves following Thursday's shooting spree in Oregon in which the gunman reportedly singled out Christians.
In his Facebook posting on Friday, Ramsey, the Republican Senate speaker, said that "while this is not the time for widespread panic, it is a time to prepare. I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit. I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.
"Our enemies are armed," Ramsey said. "We must do likewise.
CNN is reporting that the gunman who opened fire at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, killing nine people and wounding others, singled out Christians, quoting the father of a wounded student.
Before going into spinal surgery, Anastasia Boylan told her father the gunman entered her classroom firing.
While reloading his handgun, the gunman ordered the students to stand up and asked if they were Christians, Boylan told her family, CNN reported.
"And they would stand up and he said, 'Good, because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second,'" Boylan's father, Stacy, told CNN, relaying her account.
The New York Times reported the identified gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, the man identified as the gunman, is being described as a withdrawn young man who neighbors said wore the same outfit every day — combat boots, green Army pants and a white T-shirt.
Citing an unidentified law enforcement source, The Los Angeles Times reported today that Mercer was a "hate-filled" individual with anti-government and "some leanings" towards white supremacy views.
President Barack Obama charged Thursday in response to the latest mass shooting that "what's become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out. 'We need more guns,' they'll argue. 'Fewer gun-safety laws."