Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) conspicuously avoided mentioning gun control in remarks Friday morning about the shooting that left at least 10 people dead and nine more wounded at Umpqua Community College the day before.
Brown said there would be time ahead to find ways to prevent shootings, but that treating the victims and their families ought to be the top public priority in the immediate aftermath.
“We can and we must” stop mass killings, but “today is not the day,” Brown said. “Today we must be focused on providing the support and condolence to help this community heal.”
President Barack Obama spoke emphatically on Thursday about the need for gun reform, saying “we should politicize” the massacre.
Brown, however, skirted around gun control in her remarks while suggesting that it alone wouldn’t bring an end to violence.
“There’s no single solution to prevent mass shootings,” she said.
This article has been updated with revised casualty figures for Thursday's shooting.It's perhaps not surprising that Brown didn't openly call for stronger gun regulation. The shooting took place in an area of Oregon with many outdoorsmen and -women who own weapons. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin had said earlier that day that "Oregon is a hunting state and firearms are popular in most households."
Authorities have not officially named the shooter responsible for the UCC killings, but he has been widely identified elsewhere as Chris Harper Mercer, 26, who died in a shootout with police Thursday. Authorities said on Friday that they'd found 14 guns linked to the shooter that had been purchased legally.
In remarks following Brown's, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) explicitly mentioned gun control, describing the need to balance the rights and responsibilities of gun owners.
"As a country we cannot just shrug our shoulders and move on," said Wyden. "In my view, ending these massacres is gong to require compromise -- compromise that is about rights and responsibilities."
This article has been updated with revised casualty figures for Thursday's shooting.