President Obama flew to Roseburg, Oregon, Friday to meet with family members of the victims of last week’s shooting at a community college.
This, despite a handful of protests from residents who didn’t want him there.
The visit comes just hours after another deadly shooting on a college campus in Arizona.
Just before 1:30 Friday morning, police say an 18-year-old freshman shot four students at Northern Arizona University after an argument in a parking lot. One of them, Colin Brough, died.
Campus police chief G.T. Fowler called it an isolated incident but “the Arizona Board of Regents prohibits students — prohibits anyone — to carry guns on campus. The Arizona law allows you to have a gun in your car, in a locked compartment on campus. But that’s where it has to stay.”
A second deadly shooting happened Friday at a student housing complex near Texas Southern University.
All of this was happening as President Obama was on his way to Roseburg, Oregon, where eight days ago, a 26-year-old student shot and killed nine people at Umpqua Community College before killing himself.
Some residents there protested the visit because of President Obama’s call for gun control in the aftermath of recent mass shootings. “This is a mental health issue,” said Michelle Finn, organizer of Defend Roseburg, Deny Barack Obama. “This is a young man that was screaming out for help and slipped through the cracks. This is not a gun issue, this is not a political issue.”
But Andy Parker, whose daughter Allison was shot and killed on live TV in August, disagrees. “Every country in the world has people with mental health issues. But we do have the market cornered on people with mental health issues with access to guns. That’s the common denominator.”
The White House said the intention of the president’s visit is simply to comfort survivors and the victims’ families.