Community prays, calls for action after Bush’s Pasture Park shooting – Salem Reporter:

One day and several hours after 16-year-old Jose Vasquez-Valenzuela died in broad daylight during a shooting in Bush’s Pasture Park, faith leaders, neighbors, educators and community members gathered in remembrance, and to pray for those still hurting.

“This is not a prayer vigil, this is a prayer and action vigil,” said Rev. Dr. Kelly Wadsworth of Westminster Presbyterian Church to those gathered at the park’s southwest corner Friday evening. About 30 people gathered in a somber circle around one of the park’s tables, each holding a candle.

“The actions will stop when the violence has stopped,” Wadsworth said.

No offense to the good Reverend, but I have no idea what he’s talking about. What “actions” are we talking about? 

…Organizers led the group in prayer, songs and remembrance.

Still ongoing, presumably, because violence in society certainly hasn’t stopped. 

Pastor Greg Bolt of Salem First Presbyterian Church led a remembrance, asking those in attendance to think of healing for the two boys in the hospital. He invited participants to name aloud friends and family they’d lost to gun violence, and the surviving families of victims of gun violence. Several people shared.

Fair enough. People grieve in different ways, and props and respect if this sort of thing worked for those in attendance. 

“Let us remember the perpetrators. The families of those who commit violence. We acknowledge that their lives, too, are devastated and their hopes are dashed. For their sake, and for ours, we remember that pain goes in many directions from each act of violence,” he said. When he asked for names, nobody responded audibly.

Yes, let us remember the perpetrators but only long enough to incarcerate them for a good long time. Otherwise, let’s forget all about them until they’ve paid their debt to society and are ready to rejoin us, hopefully decades from now.

Further, it’s not at all clear that the families of the perpetrators aren’t also somewhat at fault, and until that’s made clear it’s a little much to ask the rest of us to remember them as victims.