Laurel Harper, the mother of Oregon college shooter Christopher Harper-Mercer, shared her son’s fascination with guns, the New York Times reports. In online postings over a decade, Ms. Harper, a registered nurse, said she kept many firearms in her home and expressed pride in her knowledge about them, as well as in her son's expertise on the subject. She also opened up about her difficulties raising a son who banged his head against the wall, and said that both she and her son struggled with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. She tried to counsel others whose children faced similar problems. In an online forum, Ms. Harper took a jab at “lame states” that impose limits on keeping loaded firearms in the home, and noted that she had AR-15 and AK-47 semiautomatic rifles, along with a Glock handgun. She also indicated that her son, who lived with her, was well versed in guns, citing him as her source of information on gun laws, saying he “has much knowledge in this field.”
“I keep two full mags in my Glock case. And the ARs & AKs all have loaded mags,” Ms. Harper wrote. “No one will be 'dropping' by my house uninvited without acknowledgement.” Law enforcement officials recovered 14 firearms and spare ammunition magazines that were purchased legally either by Harper-Mercer, 26, or an unnamed relative. Harper-Mercer had six guns with him when he entered a classroom building on Thursday and started firing on a writing class in which he was enrolled; the rest were found in the second-floor apartment he shared with his mother. Ms. Harper and Christopher's father, Ian Mercer of Tarzana, Ca, divorced in 2006 and were separated years earlier. Mercer told CNN the nation should change its gun laws, saying the massacre “would not have happened” if his son had not been able to buy so many handguns and rifles.