The mother, who is a registured nurse and had moved with her son to Oregon two years ago, gave a lot of helpful advise with her medical responses and had also claimed to be an expert on autism.
ROSEBURG, Oregon — The apparent online writings of the mother of the man who killed nine people at a community college in Oregon discuss guns and the autism spectrum, painting a partial picture of the environment the family lived in, their beliefs and the challenges they faced.
Online posts linked to Laurel Harper, mother of the gunman, are limited and incomplete, but they seem to indicate two things: that her son, Chris Harper-Mercer, had a developmental disorder, and that the family had a familiarity with firearms and gun laws.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the agencies looking into last week’s fatal shooting told CNN that investigators are aware of Harper’s alleged social media postings and her son’s online writings. Sgt. Jeff Eichenbusch of Roseburg police said that Harper is part of the investigation, just as would be any person who was close to the gunman.
Laurel Harper’s apparent online writings come in the form of posts to several websites, usually about health topics. The bulk of the postings were on forums such as Yahoo! Answers and comments on NurseTogether.
Public records link Harper to the same email address used in these posts from a Yahoo! user calling herself “Tweety Bird.”
The postings, first reported by The New York Times, make references to Harper having a son who has a disorder on the autism spectrum and of the family having strong pro-gun views.
In response to a question posted on Yahoo! Answers three years ago, the account linked to Harper complains about “lame states” that consider a loaded magazine inside the home the same as having a loaded gun.
“I keep all my mags full. I keep two full mags in my Glock case. And the ARs & AKs all have loaded mags. No one will be ‘dropping’ by my house uninvited without (acknowledgment),” the user Tweety Bird wrote.
In another post, answering a hypothetical question of how gunmen might be charged and sentenced, Tweety Bird argues which gun laws would apply, citing “my son, who has much knowledge in this field.”
That post was from six years ago.
Her apparent views on guns differ largely from her former husband, Ian Mercer, who told CNN the shooting would not have happened if his son, 26, had not had access to 14 guns. All the guns were legally obtained by the shooter or family members over the last three years through a federally licensed firearms dealer, a federal official said last week.
Mercer said he has never held a gun. He doesn’t want to, he told CNN. He laid out his personal philosophy on the issue: “I’m a great believer (in) you don’t buy guns, don’t buy guns, you don’t buy guns.”
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Article Courtesy of CNN and WJW Fox 8 News Cleveland
Picture Courtesy of Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images