President Obama spoke on the Oregon shooting last night, as covered by The New York Times’ Mark Landler and Lee Van Der Voo:
President Obama, speaking hours after a gunman killed a student and wounded a teacher at an Oregon high school, said Tuesday that his failure to push through stricter gun laws was the greatest frustration of his presidency, declaring, “We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens.”
Speaking in blunt and bitter terms about a bloody trail of shootings in the last month, Mr. Obama said: “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this.”
Bishop Michael Hanley made this statement yesterday (found in Oregon Episcopal Church News:
On the shooting at Reynolds High School
Earlier today the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon issued a statement concerning the shooting that took place in Troutdale’s Reynolds’s High school. I commend that statement to you as once again we see the challenges we face as a nation as one more school shooting makes the news. My heart and my prayers go out to all of those involved in the shooting today.
Thanks to the Rev. Jennifer Creswell who made sure there was an Episcopal prayer service during the day. Please include a prayer for the end of gun violence in the prayers of the people this Sunday.
Some time ago I became a member of a group called Bishops Against Gun Violence. I hope to lend a prayerful Christian voice to the conversation. I encourage everyone to be a part of creating a more peaceful world.
Bishop Michael Hanley
Episcopal Diocese of Oregon
The statement from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon follows:
EMO statement on Reynolds High School shooting
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon laments today’s tragedy of violence resulting in death, wounding and terror at Reynolds High School near Portland.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon calls upon all houses of worship to pray for the victims’ families and loved ones, for the students and staff along with their families who experienced this horrific event, and for the perpetrator’s family who are suffering now. We give thanks for the police, emergency professionals, and all those who helped to safely evacuate students and staff. We are grateful for their courage and quick response, making clear that we will not be paralyzed by fear in the face of sudden violence. We also acknowledge the importance of pastoral care and mental health services for all those impacted by this tragedy, and we give thanks for everyone who is part of the healing process.
Causes of these tragedies can be complex, including lack of resources to recognize and treat mental illness, easy availability of military-grade weapons, and the culture of violence permeating our society. We all deserve, especially our children, to live in a society free from the continuous occurrence of violent events such as this shooting. It is time for us to tackle these hard issues together, in order to foster healing and help prevent future tragedies.
Rev. Dr. Doug Wirt
President of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Board of Directors