The UCC Shooting
The shooting happened on my mother’s birthday.
Back in the early aughts, I attended Umpqua Community College for over two years. I’ve spent a lot of time on campus, waiting hours and hours between classes because the drive home was too far. I know the place well. I took acting classes and stared in a production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile. I played Picasso. My favorite class was on Shakespeare. It took place in the building where all those people were shot and also down in Ashland at the Shakespeare Festival, so that we could see the plays performed live and then write an easy about them. And then this spring, I took a drawing class at UCC. I considered taking another art class this fall but decided I didn’t have the funds.
When UCC was on the news everywhere, it seemed odd. People were talking about Roseburg. It’s by Portland, even though it isn’t really. But people have heard of Portland.
I know a person, I guess you could call her an acquaintance (or someone close to a close friend of mine), that was in the building next door during the shooting. She’s fine. She quickly tired of people asking.
I have an Australian pen pal that heard about the shooting. He hoped me and my loved ones were all well. He was saddened by the tragedy. I sometimes use Australia as an example of a country where gun control worked, where it stopped the mass shootings, but Roseburg is now even more pro-gun than ever, if that is possible. There is no real debate. Everyone has already made up his or her mind.
All around town there are signs that say “UCC Strong” and “We are UCC” and other things like that. The general feeling is that we need to be strong together, so that we don’t have to change anything about ourselves or our community.
The UCC shooting is just another school shooting in a small town in the USA. This time it just happened close to home. I wonder how long all those signs will stay up. My guess is they will come down sometime after the new year. I’m sure everyone will want to start fresh.
All I hope is that my mother has a better birthday next year.