12-13-2017  1:13 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

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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