ROSEBURG, Ore. (KOIN) — “All of Oregon stand with Umpqua Community College and the city of Roseburg,” Gov. Kate Brown said at the beginning of remarks over what she termed a “horrific crisis.”
Though she said a conversation must be had to discuss the notion of gun violence, the governor said “today is not the day.”
“This is a very difficult time for all of us, including the people of Douglas County,” she said. “One person’s deranged acts broke all of our hearts.”
Both of Oregon’s US senators were at the briefing.
Ron Wyden thanked the “courageous first responders” in his remarks. It will take more than “good intentions if this carnage is to end.”
“In my view, ending these massacres will require compromise” of rights and responsibilities, Wyden said. “And Oregon is exactly the place to lead this conversation.”
“Today is not about any of us in the United States Congress has voted for in the past,” he said. Rather it is about the future and what we can agree to.
“We have a long series of names branded on our hearts,” Jeff Merkley said in the beginning of his remarks. “No community wants to add their names to this string of broken hearts.”
“The community has come together in extraordinary fashion,” he said, noting city leaders and county officials worked cooperatively in a swift and decisive manner.
Merkley noted he was born near Roseburg and has deep family ties to the region.
“I never thought that it could possibly be that my extended family would ever be affected by” this kind of violence. But one of his distant relatives was among the victims.
“This long list gets longer with each passing month,” he said. Merkley noted there have been 45 mass shootings in the US in 2015.
Rep. Peter DeFazio also spoke. “This is a day for us to mourn those who died and give as much as we can to those families affected,” he said. He urged prayer for the victims, their families, the city and Umpqua Community College.
He also said he hopes there is a way to end this string of mass shootings.
“We need patience,” he said. “This is not a time for impatience. … There will come a time when we can move together in unison.”