ROSEBURG, Ore. — President Barack Obama, faced with protests over his meeting Friday with victims of an Oregon shooting, held to his view that something must be done about deadly gun crimes. But given the freshness of the week-old tragedy, he said, “Today, it’s about the families.”
“I’ve got some very strong feelings about this,” Obama said, adding that these occasions always remind him that anyone could be the victim.
At Umpqua Community College in Roseburg last week, a gunman killed eight students and a teacher before using the weapon to take his own life. On Friday, fatal shootings were reported at colleges in Arizona and Texas.
“We’re going to have to come together as a country to see how we can prevent these issues from taking place” so regularly, Obama told reporters following the approximately hourlong, private meeting with grieving relatives of those who were killed and injured. “But today, it’s about the families, their grief and the love we feel for them.” The White House did not say how many people Obama met with.
Immediately after the Oregon shooting, a visibly angry Obama appeared at the White House to declare that thoughts and prayers are no longer enough in the aftermath of such incidents and that the nation’s gun laws needed to be changed. He said the issue is one “we should politicize.”