As Roseburg tries to heal, Presidential visit sparks controversy - KPTV - FOX 12

As Roseburg tries to heal, Presidential visit sparks controversy

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ROSEBURG, OR (KPTV) -

President Barack Obama plans to visit Roseburg Friday to meet with the families of victims in last week's deadly mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, but not everyone is welcoming the commander in chief.

The family of at least one shooting victim says they won't be visiting with the President.

Ana Boylan was one of 18 people shot on campus Thursday, Oct. 1. She was shot in the back and played dead to survive, according to her family.

Ana Boylan's father, Stacy Boylan, said his family's focus right now is on Ana's recovery, and given the President's stance on gun control, they don't plan to meet with him.

Stacy Boylan said he disagrees with the President's policies and doesn't believe that tougher gun control measures will help prevent similar tragedies.

"I've spoken to my family, and for myself and for my daughter and son, on principle, I find that I am in disagreement with his policies on gun control, and therefore, we will not be attending the visit," Stacy Boylan said.

Other residents of Roseburg have expressed similar sentiments.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 3,000 people had RSVP'd to a Facebook event titled Defend Roseburg - Deny barack 0bama.

Roseburg's city officials, on the other hand, are making it clear that they welcome Pres. Obama's visit.

In a press release, the city said the following:

Since the announcement that President Obama may be in the Roseburg area on Friday to meet with the families that lost loved ones at Umpqua Community College, news outlets have been announcing that the President was not welcome in Roseburg. These announcements have included alleged quotes from community leaders. 

Unfortunately, individuals have been claiming to be speaking on behalf of the City of Roseburg. Please be advised that any statements made by individuals other than our elected City of Roseburg officials or our appointed City Manager Colley and Police Chief Burge are misrepresentations.

We wish to be clear that Mayor Rich, City Council President Ryan and the Roseburg City Council welcome the President to Roseburg and will extend him every courtesy.

Please keep the families of the victims and those impacted by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.

Details of the President's visit have not been released.

The White House said Pres. Obama planned to head to Seattle later Friday for a fundraising event for Senator Patty Murray and the Democratic Party.

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