President Obama’s remarks in favor of gun control after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College is sparking anger in Roseburg, Or., about his visit to the city planned for Friday, The Oregonian reports. David Jacques, a Republican activist who publishes a weekly newspaper in Roseburg, warned that the president “is not welcome in the community.” Local social media sites in the conservative community are replete with criticism of the president, and several local officials said Obama should stay away from the subject of gun laws during his visit.
The White House said Obama is traveling to “visit privately with families of victims of the shooting,” leaving the impression he would not have any public events. The furor led the Roseburg City Council to say that city officials will welcome Obama and “extend him every courtesy.” “We don’t need to be in the middle of a national gun rights debate,” said Council President Tom Ryan. “We have people who are healing. That is our main concern.” Jacques, who was a delegate to the 2012 Republican national convention, said Obama showed “blatant disregard for the mourning process. He charged that the president is coming to Roseburg to recruit family members to speak out in favor of tougher gun laws.