Faith leaders, symphony musicians, mourning citizens, and Mayor Charlie Hales, gathered outside City Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 1, for a candlelight vigil following the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. The shooter killed 10 people, and injured seven more.
The vigil, which was attended by approximately 90 people, was held in front of City Hall. Following a brief introduction by Mayor Charlie Hales, various faith leaders from the Portland community spoke, both offering aid to those affected by the shooting, as well as in support of stricter gun control laws.
“The violence must end,” said Pastor Mark Knudsen of the Augustana Lutheran Church. “We must redouble our efforts with every sinew in our body, to say ‘no more,’ and to remove the weapons on our streets that have no place there.”
Rabbi Michael Cahana of Temple Beth Israel spoke out, fiercely stating that he wished he could understand why mass shootings happen. “I wish I could do that,” Cahana said passionately. “But I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”
The Umpqua Community College shooting, which is the 45th school shooting in 2015 according to the Huffington Post, is expected to spark a national debate about gun control laws.
As Lincoln High School poet Maia Abbruzzese put it in the poem she read last night, “America, we are under attack.”