In familiar ritual, Obama consoles victims in Oregon mass shooting

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Obama Speaks On Oregon Shooting: "This Has Become Routine"

President Barack Obama, in a ritual that has become both familiar and frustrating to him, arrived in Oregon on Friday to console victims and affected families of a community college shooting that once again sparked a push for U.S. gun reform.

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The president, a Democrat who tried but failed to tighten firearms laws after previous mass shootings, arrived in a community where support for gun rights remains strong despite the massacre that left nine victims dead in the deadliest massacre on U.S. soil in two years.

Obama angrily denounced the killings as a symptom of a political choice by U.S. lawmakers to bow to pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group instead of reforming gun laws.

"I will politicize it, because our inaction is a political decision that we are making," he said at a White House news conference last week.

Obama has made regular trips to funerals and memorial services for victims of mass shootings during the past seven years as president. He has said the December 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut was his toughest day as president.

He was not scheduled to make public remarks during his short stop in Roseburg, planning to meet privately with the families of the victims.

See photos of the protests:

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In familiar ritual, Obama consoles victims in Oregon mass shooting
Demonstrators watch as President Barack Obama's motorcade leaves Roseburg High School after a visit with families of victims of the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. The protesters were angry about Obamaâs calls for gun restrictions in the wake of the shooting rampage that killed eight students and a teacher at the college. AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Addy Goodwin, center, walks by demonstrators' signs with her mother Sarah Goodwin, right, at Roseburg Regional Airport before President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
A demonstrator's handgun is seen as he waits outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
A demonstrator's truck sits outside of Roseburg Regional Airport before President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Chance White waves a Confederate battle flag as he drives away from Roseburg Regional Airport in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. More than 200 gun-rights activists protested President Barack Obamaâs visit to Oregon to meet with the families of victims of last weekâs campus killings. The protesters were angry about Obamaâs calls for gun restrictions in the wake of the shooting rampage that killed eight students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Gun-rights activists say they plan to protest when Obama visits here Friday to meet with families of victims of last week's college shooting rampage. They are angry about Obama's call for more gun restrictions after the killing of eight students and a teacher. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Dulcie Bagley, holds a welcome sign, as she walks by demonstrators outside of Roseburg Regional Airport waiting for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Bagley was welcoming President Barack Obama to Roseburg instead of protesting. More than 200 gun-rights activists protested Obamaâs visit on Friday to Oregon to meet with the families of victims of last weekâs campus killings. The protesters were angry about Obamaâs calls for gun restrictions in the wake of the shooting rampage that killed eight students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Angry with Obama for calling for tighter gun restrictions in the wake of last week's deadly shootings at Umpqua Community College, gun-rights activists gathered to protest the president's visit to meet with victims' families. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. Angry with Obama for calling for tighter gun restrictions in the wake of last week's deadly shootings at Umpqua Community College, gun-rights activists gathered to protest the president's visit to meet with victims' families. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
ROSEBURG, OR - OCTOBER 09: Protesters line the street in front of the Roseburg Regional Airport on October 9, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Most turned out to protest President Obama's Visit to Roseburg, as the community recovers from last week's shooting at Umpqua Community College. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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About 250 people gathered in Roseburg, some driving hours to get there, to protest his visit.

"The way things played out with Sandy Hook and the president parading those families across the country to take away my gun rights - that is why I'm here," said Jason Harju, 40, who was wearing a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun on his belt and a sweatshirt that said "OREGUN."

Obama has tasked White House lawyers and advisers to look for new ways he could use his executive powers to enforce existing gun regulations.

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One of those options is a regulatory change to require more dealers to get a license to sell guns, which would lead to more background checks on buyers - an action that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would take if elected in November 2016.

The White House had drafted a proposal on that issue in 2013, but was concerned it could be challenged in court and would be hard to enforce.

But officials are now hopeful that they can find a way to advance the plan, a White House official said on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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