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John Hanlin, Sheriff Handling Oregon College Shooting, Won't Talk About Anti-Gun Control Letter

10/02/2015 06:46 EDT | Updated 10/02/2015 06:59 EDT

John Hanlin called gun control an "insult to the American people" after the Newtown, Conn. shootings killed 20 schoolchildren two years ago.

Now, the Oregon sheriff is handling a mass shooting in which a gunman enrolled in a course at Roseburg's Umpqua Community College killed 13 people there on Thursday.

And he won't address his views about gun control. Not at this time, anyway.

One month after Adam Lanza killed 20 kids and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013, Hanlin sent the following letter to U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden.

It came in response to President Barack Obama's proposal for more stringent gun laws.

Obama's proposal included background checks for every firearm sale and a ban on assault weapons, The New York Times reported.

Hanlin urged the White House not to touch the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects a person's right to keep and bear arms.

"I will NOT violate my Constitutional Oath," Hanlin wrote.

He did not comment on the letter in an interview with the TODAY show on Friday, NBC News reported.

"Well, first of all, there's a lot of talk about guns and gun control and that is a conversation we will all be having in the coming weeks, but right now I'm focused on completing this investigation, and more importantly, focused on the victims and families of the victims," Hanlin said.

Hanlin was among hundreds of sheriffs who wrote letters to the White House opposing gun control in the weeks following the Sandy Hook shootings, according to Mother Jones.

He also wasn't only one to do so in Oregon. Then-Linn County sheriff Tim Mueller also sent a letter to Biden that was shared widely; the very same letter was sent by current Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley, KPIC reported.

Speaking Thursday, Obama said his "greatest frustration" as president has been trying to pass "common-sense gun safety laws."

"We are collectively answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction," he said.

Research published in Mother Jones by the Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University last year showed that mass shootings have been on the rise since 2011.

Indeed, between 2011 and 2014, a mass shooting (killing four or more people) happened, on average, every 64 days.

Compare that to the previous 29 years (1982 to 2011), in which a mass shooting happened, on average, every 200 days, according to the research.

Meanwhile, the FBI has also found that "active shooter" cases, or incidents in which armed persons had "actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people," had been happening more frequently from 2000 to 2013.

A study by the bureau showed that, in the first seven years, active shooting incidents happened, on average, 6.4 times per year. That number increased to 11.4 times in the following seven years.

In total, 70 per cent of these incidents happened in educational institutions or businesses.

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