WASHINGTON — President Obama announced Monday he will travel to Roseburg, Oregon on Friday to visit privately with the families of shooting victims after a gunman killed 10 people, including himself, at Umpqua Community College Oct. 1.
A White House official told KGW further details about Obama's visit to Oregon will be made available this week. The Associated Press reports that Obama will be on the West Coast for four days total.
Thursday, a visibly frustrated President Obama offered condolences to the victims of the mass shooting, but he added that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough" to stem an epidemic of mass shootings in the United States.
Having now spoken after 15 such senseless killings during his administration, Obama again called for "common sense" legislation aimed at preventing gun violence, and he mocked opponents of past initiatives he has pushed.
"Each time this happens, I'm going to bring this up," Obama said during emotional remarks in the White House press room.
Obama said he has been to Roseburg, Ore., where the shooting took place, and "there are really good people there" who are the latest victims of gun violence.
"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said. "The reporting has become routine. My response here, from this podium, has become routine."
The president has frequently called for legislation to try to stop gun violence, including enhanced background checks, an assault weapons ban, and improved mental health programs.
As he echoed those calls in the wake of the Oregon shooting, Obama predicted that statements of opposition from gun rights groups were already being written. Many of those opponents will accuse him politicizing tragic shootings, the president.
"This is something we should politicize," Obama said. "This is a political choice that we make."
Oregon officials said a 20-year-old man killed 10 people and injured seven more in a shooting at Umpqua Community College near Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama made a surprise visit to Roseburg's Keizer Iris Festival.
Obama has spoken in the wake of shooting tragedies on at least a dozen occasions, including the 2012 murders at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and this past summer's killings at African-American church in Charleston, S.C.
Other countries have mental health issues, but none have the kind of gun violence the United States does, Obama said.
The president mocked opponents of gun control legislation, including those who say the solution is "more guns."
"Who believes that?" he asked.
"I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families," Obama said. "But based on my experience as president, I can't guarantee that — and that's terrible to say," he said.
Complete coverage: http://www.kgw.com/local/roseburg-college-shootings/