As Obama Heads to Oregon, Two Campus Shootings Happen in Two Different States

Obama Oregon Shooting Protests
Michael Johnson waits outside of Roseburg Municipal Airport for President Barack Obama’s arrival in Roseburg. Photo: Ryan Kang/AP/Corbis

One student is reportedly dead after a shooting happened at an apartment complex owned by Texas Southern University on Friday morning. 

It’s crazy,” the school’s associate vice-president of communications told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s broad daylight.” 

It was the second shooting incident to happen at the university in southeastern Houston in less than a day. One other student was injured, and a possible suspect has been detained

Earlier this morning, another student died after a shooting at Northern Arizona University. Three other students were injured after being shot multiple times, and the suspect — an 18-year-old freshman — was taken into custody. One student who heard the shooting happen — and thought it was just fireworks at first — told the AP“How am I supposed to feel safe where I’m learning?” 

Meanwhile, President Obama is arriving in Oregon, where he is set to meet with the families of those who died or were injured in last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College. Many protesters gathered at the Roseburg airport to greet the president. One man holding a sign that read “Obama Free Zone” told The Oregonian“We’re here to protest the fact that Obama politicized these poor people’s deaths. We don’t like him politicizing the Second Amendment. I believe the Second Amendment is under threat.”

Demonstrators surrounded by multiple flags wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama’s arrival. Photo: Ryan Kang/AP/Corbis

One of the women helping to plan the protests told the AP“He’s not wanted here. He’s coming here purely to push his garbage, and we don’t want it.” The family of one of the shooting’s survivors plans on meeting Obama — but not in public because of his views on guns.

The publisher of the local newspaper, the Roseburg Beacon, said on national television last week that Obama wasn’t welcome in their town. 

Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama’s arrival. Photo: Ryan Kang/AP/Corbis

According to The Wall Street Journal, Obama won only 34 percent of the vote in Douglas County, where the shooting happened, in 2012. The three county commissioners of Douglas County released a statement in advance of Obama’s arrival. “Regardless of our differences with the president on policy issues, we await the president’s arrival and look forward to his show of support for a community who is grieving and whose heartache is immeasurable — especially the families of those killed.”

The president does not plan on making public remarks during his visit. 

Although Obama doesn’t plan on talking about politics in Oregon, his administration has been considering options to prevent gun violence. The White House is specifically looking at background-check requirements and wondering if it would be possible to take executive action to change the definition of a gun dealer — and expanding it to include those who sell guns only occasionally, at gun shows, or from their private collection. The Obama administration considered taking this action in 2013 but decided it was too controversial. Given the fact that pro-gun groups blasted Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she would take similar action if elected, the issue definitely hasn’t grown less contentious among those who are very vocal in protesting gun-control measures. 

On the other hand, a majority of Americans — Democrats and Republicans — support expanding background checks to include private sales and gun shows, according to the Pew Research Center.

Senate Democrats are also considering new gun legislation. Given the current climate in Congress, and the success rate of past legislation involving gun violence, it is unlikely to pass.

One Dead After Shooting at Texas University