Oakland vigil honors AZ victims, condemns violence

January 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A candlelight vigil outside City Hall in Oakland held Wednesday night brought together people in the Bay Area who wanted to both honor the victims in Tuscon and to condemn violence.

About 100 Oakland residents gathered to show support for the Tucson shooting victims and their families. As the names of those killed in Tucson were read aloud, Oakland came together to remember the victims of the tragedy.

"Whether they had a title or not, these were human beings whose lives were cut short by this senseless act of violence," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.

"I think a lot of people have been feeling upset and so coming together with this sort of unity is really important," said Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan.

It was important to Oakland resident Steve Schiesser, father of twin girls; he keeps thinking of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green who was killed during the shooting.

"Her life was so full of hope and then a nut who should have never been allowed to have a gun gets to kill her... only in America... and I'm sad," said Schiesser.

The candlelight vigil outside of Oakland City Hall brought community leaders and residents together to show solidarity for the Tucson victims and to condemn political violence and violence in local communities.

Both Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan say tougher gun control legislation might prevent future tragedies. Quan will open discussion with other mayors on the issue when she's in Washington next week.

"In the Conference of Mayors, I hope particularly to address the issue of automatic gun weapons and try and get the ban reinstated," said Quan.

When asked if the shooting in Tucson would in any way discourage them from public gatherings, both Lee and Quan said no.