President Barack Obama on Friday met with families and survivors of last week’s shooting at a community college in Oregon.
In brief remarks following the private meeting in Roseburg, Obama thanked the community for coming together during such a difficult time, and said he pledged to the town’s mayor that the government would provide any assistance it could.
Obama did not raise the issue of gun control reform.
Nine people were killed and nine others were wounded in the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College. The gunman killed himself after being wounded by police, officials said.
Earlier, protesters gathering in the town of about 21,000 ahead of the president’s arrival. Some protesters armed and said they objected to what they called Obama’s comments on firearms regulations after the tragedy.
“He’s here for a gun-grabbing agenda,” said one protester, who only gave her first name, Cindy. “Our town is in mourning. They need to heal before he comes here with his agenda.”Obama’s motorcade arrived at Roseburg High School at 12:41 p.m. local time (3:41 p.m. ET). The route was lined with people holding signs and waving flags. About half of the signs were pro-gun signs, although there were signs like, “Welcome to Oregon Mr. President” as well.
Obama called for more gun control reform in the wake of the tragedy. The White House said Obama would not push the issue while visiting Roseburg.
A Facebook page for the protest, titled “Defend Roseburg — Deny Barack Obama,” calls for attendees to “show the world that American gun owners are responsible patriots.
Some showed up to support Obama’s visit, and also said they support stricter gun laws.
“I have guns. I intend to keep my guns. If I have to get a smaller clip for my pistol, I’ll do it,” John Poole said. “What we have now is worse than irrational — it’s immoral.”