On Friday, when President Obama arrives in Roseburg, Oregon — the staunchly conservative town where the tragic Umpqua Community College shooting that left 9 dead took place a week ago — he will be met with seething anger over his calls for new gun restrictions.
Residents of Roseburg and families of the victims — including survivors Cheyeanne Fitzgerald and Shelby Wambolt, along with the family of slain student Quinn Cooper — see the President as trying to exploit the tragedy in order to push his gun control agenda and strip American citizens’ right to bear arms.
In response to Obama’s scheduled arrival on Friday, pro-Second Amendment supporters have organized a counter-protest through a Facebook page called “Defend Roseburg – Deny Barack Obama,” which explains that the 11 a.m. rally will be in advance of the president’s expected early afternoon arrival.
Kit Lange, one of the organizers of the protest, expects that at least some of the protesters will be armed and heavily emphasizes that they want a “peaceful, principled stand.”
The post explains their purpose is simply to “mourn with Roseburg” and “respect their wish to be left alone to mourn” without Obama forcing himself on the people.
Nearly 8,000 people have clicked on “going” to the rally.
“He’s not wanted here. He’s coming here purely to push his garbage, and we don’t want it,” said Michelle Finn, who is helping to organize the protests planned for intersections near the small airport where Obama’s helicopter is expected to touch down.
Stacy Boylan, father of Umpqua Community College shooting survivor Ana Boylan, added during an interview on “The Kelly File” that she believes Obama’s visit to Roseburg is about pushing his anti-gun agenda.
“I do believe it was Rahm Emmanuel that said, ‘Never let a good tragedy go to waste,’” Boylan said, adding that he questions Obama’s motives. Boylan said that as a Second Amendment supporter, he believes gun-free zones are a problem because they become targets for “crazy people,” who know they won’t be met with resistance.
“My daughter said to me, ‘What if somebody would have had a gun?’ Gun-free and gun control takes that option off the table,” Boylan stated. “I don’t think that’s the right course.”
He said that he and his family have decided that they will not be attending the president’s visit on Friday because of their disagreements with his gun control policies.
Boylan notes that gun-free zones are overwhelmingly the favored targets for mass murders as 92% of all mass killers target so-called gun free zones.
Douglas County leaders sought to reassure Obama that he is welcome, despite their disagreements with his policies. They said in a statement earlier in the week they would “extend him every courtesy.”
Whether the President will heed the warnings of the people of Roseburg and go home is yet to be known.