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Oregon Shooting: Governor Urges Change, But Says Town Needs Time to Mourn

by Elisha Fieldstadt /  / Updated 

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Oregon's governor and three of the state's congressmen said Friday that a college shooting that left ten dead, including the gunman, should be a catalyst for change.

But none offered specifics, saying that the focus should be on allowing the small community to mourn the victims of the tragedy.

"We must and we will do better to prevent these types of senseless violence," said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown at a news conference held a little more than 24 hours after 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer allegedly opened fire at Umpqua Community College, leaving nine dead and nine more injured. Mercer was killed after a shootout with police.

Brown said acts of violence like the one that unfolded Thursday in the small community of Roseburg will "keep happening until we decide we want them to stop," she said Friday.

"There is no single solution but we must do better," she said. "This is a conversation we will have but today is not the day.

Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio, all Oregon Democrats who flew in from Washington, D.C., after the shooting spree, all said that the state and the country have to work to establish solutions to prevent gun violence and mass killings. All three gave various reasons why they thought Friday was not the appropriate time to have a conversation about policy changes regarding gun control and security.

President Barack Obama expressed his frustration Thursday over what he clearly considers a lack of action on gun control.

"Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It's not enough — it does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted some place else in America next week or a couple months from now," he said.

Widen said that "ending these massacres is going to require compromise."

"Gun owners have rights under the law and there must be responsibilities," he added, but he said that discussion was "for the future."

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