Hundreds of protesters greeted President Obama’s motorcade in Roseburg, Oregon, Friday as a group called “Defend Roseburg” held signs and waved banners while others silently turned their backs as the motorcade rolled by.
Obama came to Roseburg, the White House said, to mourn with family members of the nine victims shot dead by a gunman at Umqua Community College on Oct. 1.
“We’re going to have to come together as a nation to deal with this issue,” Obama said. “But today is about the families.”
In fact Obama’s Democrat loyalists in the Senate led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have already readied several gun control bills. If those don’t pass, the White House said Friday the president is considering taking unilateral action by executive order to create new federal background checks for firearms purchases, ABC News reported.
Many protesters in Roseburg said they were not in a mood to welcome a president who so quickly and callously politicized a tragedy. Some came with their guns to make their point. All were peaceful.
“He should stay away,” Gary Shambling, 66, of Winston, whose 1935 Harvester International pickup was parked Friday morning along the side of Aviation Drive, told his local newspaper, the Register-Guard. His truck had a large “No Bama” sign in red letters.
“He made it very plain, 15 minutes after the shooting happened,” Shambling said. “He politicized it. The bodies weren’t even cold.”
Others carried signs supporting their local sheriff, who’d said earlier that he didn’t believe Obama should come to the town after making politicized comments about gun control.
Others protesters held signs saying “Obama Free Zone” and “Go Away” and “Go Home, You’re Not Wanted Here” as drivers honk their horns passing by. Other signs include “Prayers Not Politics” and “In Memory of the Fallen” and “#Roseburg Strong.”
Watch Fox News coverage of today’s protests in Oregon:
More than 8,000 people “liked” a Facebook page dubbed “Defend Roseburg – Deny Barack Obama.”
The Facebook page contained the following message:
“The anointed one his majesty king Obama and the White House have announced a Friday arrival in Roseburg, Oregon in the wake of Oct 1st’s horrific tragedy at UCC,” the Facebook page reads. “Polarizing as usual, Mr. 0bama has insisted on politicizing the event as a conduit for increased executive orders on gun control via means of his pen, and his phone. This blatant disrespect of the victims families, the community and the town of Roseburg, Mr. Obama’s administration is flying not just the 747 that is airforce one to Oregon, but a three helicopter team of Sikorsky’s that make up HMX-1, known as Marine one to travel to Roseburg at the taxpayers expense. We need a lot of people. Please come show your support for Roseburg, not the little man who has no respect for the Constitution.”
Young Conservatives posted a statement on its website that referred to the Roseburg protests as “truly a beautiful sight to see patriots standing up for their Second Amendment rights to protect life, liberty and property.”
The statement continued:
“I can’t think of a better way to send a message than what these fine patriots did by protesting against a lawless president who seeks to not only take away their right to protect themselves, but who also ignores the Constitution and tries to usurp power away from Congress and ultimately, the people.
“Obama is all about the progressive agenda which he and other radical leftists believe is the solution to all that ails humankind despite history and common sense testifying otherwise.
“This is why he’s always ready to politicize a tragedy and instead of offering prayers and kind words meant to heal, he immediately pushes the agenda, which is exactly what he did with this shooting.
“Americans are clearly growing tired of it.”
One protester posted a photo on Twitter with the comment “‘Defend Roseburg’ planning to protest POTUS at 2 locations in Roseburg over #guncontrol and #UCCShooting.”
That led to a counter tweet by a man who said “What exactly are they defending? The right to be ignorant racists?”
According to reports put out by a pool of White House travel reporters, Obama’s motorcade traveled from the local airport to Roseburg High School where he met with families of the deceased. The ride took about 10-15 minutes and he got to the school around 12:45 p.m. There were several hundred people clustered outside the gate to the airport and in the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot.
Many of the people were snapping photos with their phones. But others carried signs at this location similar to those lining the highway. About half of the people stationed at this location welcomed Obama to the town. “The other half were negative or seemed to be protesting his calls action to tighten the nation’s gun laws,” the pool report said.
Some of the signs visible from the motorcade:
“Please leave us in peace”
“Welcome to Roseburg.”
“We support our Sheriff”
“Gun Free Zones are for sitting ducks”
“Obama is wrong”
“Nothing Trumps our Liberty”
“UCC Strong” for Umqua Community College.