11-19-2017  9:41 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

President Barack Obama boards Marine One
KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — President Barack Obama is bringing words of comfort and sympathy to grieving families of victims of the shooting rampage in Roseburg, Oregon, muting his message about the need for new laws to stem gun violence as he visits an area where firearms are popular.

Obama will talk with family members Friday at the start of a four-day West Coast trip. Eight community college students and a teacher were killed before the gunman fatally shot himself in front of his victims after he was wounded by police.

Dozens of demonstrators had gathered near the local airport as Obama arrived to protest his call for strict gun laws.

Staunchly conservative Douglas County is bristling with gun owners who use their firearms for hunting, target shooting and self-protection. A commonly held opinion in the area is that the solution to mass killings is more people carrying guns, not fewer.

"The fact that the college didn't permit guards to carry guns, there was no one there to stop this man," said Craig Schlesinger, pastor at the Garden Valley Church.

Referring to potential protesters, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: "Those individuals have nothing to fear. The fact is the president has made clear that the goal of his visit is to spend time with the families of those who are so deeply affected by this terrible tragedy."

A visibly angry Obama said after the shooting that thoughts and prayers are no longer enough and that the nation's gun laws needed to be changed.

Some of the most poignant moments of Obama's presidency have occurred in his role as consoler in chief. He led the grieving in Charleston, South Carolina, in singing "Amazing Grace." He read the first names of the 20 elementary school students killed in Newtown, Connecticut, and asked how the nation can honestly say it's doing enough to keep its children safe from harm.

This time, the White House says, the meeting is private.

Obama was already scheduled to travel to the West Coast when the shooting occurred, and the White House adjusted his schedule to include Roseburg.

The shooting has sparked new talk about gun violence, though history suggests that prospects for enacting legislation are highly unlikely. Republican lawmakers are talking about the need to take up legislation designed to improve mental health care. Democrats are pitching the formation of a special committee to investigate gun violence, similar to what the GOP-led House established to investigate Planned Parenthood and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

"No proposal is going to stop every shooting, but we can come up with solutions that stop some tragedies," said Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson of California, the leader of the proposal for a special committee.

Earnest has cited requiring background checks for all firearms purchases at gun shows "as the kind of obvious thing that we believe that Congress should do."

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Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper and Gosia Wozniacka in Oregon contributed to this report.

 

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