Gun-toting protesters gathered on Friday morning to await President Obama’s arrival in Roseburg, Ore., where he planned to meet with the families of victims of last week’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College.
But local residents planned to protest Obama’s visit, saying he rushed to “politicize” the tragedy by pushing a gun control agenda.
“My family, my friends, everybody down here is not happy about him coming,” Michelle Finn, a Umpqua alumna and Roseburg native, told the Oregonian. “He already says he’s going to politicize this — he’s already going to push his agenda.”
A Facebook event page for a protest dubbed “Defend Roseburg – Deny barack 0bama” [sic], had garnered more than 8,000 RVSPs by Friday. In its lengthy event description, organizers suggested attendees carry a handgun as opposed to a rifle, but reiterated “you have the right to carry what you wish.”
“Polarizing as usual, Mr 0bama [sic] has insisted on politicizing the event as a conduit for increased executive orders on gun control via means of his pen, and his phone,” the description continued.
A protester waiting outside of Roseburg Municipal Airport for President Barack Obama’s arrival in Oregon on Friday. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Tweets from Portland-area reporter Nina Mehlhaf showed assembled protesters waiting for the President’s arrival at the airport toting signs with slogans like “Go back to Kenya!” and waving “don’t tread on me” flags.
More Roseburg protestors showing off their right to carry guns well ahead of the President’s arrival pic.twitter.com/QHBH2Y0sYh
— Nina Mehlhaf (@NinaMehlhaf) October 9, 2015
Obama is scheduled to meet privately with the families of victims of the shooting that left nine dead and nine wounded last week.
In the wake of the shooting that left nine dead and nine wounded last week, a visibly distraught Obama said when mass killings have been “routine” in this country, the issue becomes “something we should politicize.”