Demonstrators greet Obama in Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Advocates demanding tougher gun-control laws were among several dozen demonstrators who greeted President Barack Obama outside a fundraising stop in Oregon on Tuesday.
In the wake of a mass shooting that killed 12 and injured 58 others in Aurora, Colo., last week, demonstrators said Obama needs to stand up to the deep-pocketed National Rifle Association. They want him to push Congress to reinstate an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that expired in 2004.
"He hasn't been aggressive about promoting change in the culture of violence," said DeEtte Waleed of Portland, who added that she'll nonetheless vote for him because "the alternative is just too scary to contemplate."
Protesters were kept far back from the entrance to the Oregon Convention Center, where the president was scheduled to hold a fundraiser Tuesday afternoon for his re-election campaign. His motorcade did not pass them.
Penny Okamoto, director of the gun-control group Cease Fire Oregon, noted that some of the victims in Aurora were killed or wounded while trying to protect others.
"We need Obama, Romney, to be just as brave and stand up to the NRA," Okamoto said.
"Their kind words, their platitudes that's nice, but we need action. We need leadership," she said.
Several dozen demonstrators pushed other issues, too, most of them liberal causes. Some protested punitive marijuana laws, others the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists or plans to export coal through Northwest ports for use in Asia.
Obama's plane touched down about 11:30 a.m. at the base for the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard. On his way to the convention center, the president stopped a Portland diner and ate a grilled cheese sandwich and split pea and ham soup.
Tim King, a server at Gateway Breakfast House, said the restaurant offered Obama lunch on the house, but Obama insisted on paying.
Obama is scheduled to depart Tuesday evening for Seattle, where he's scheduled to stay the night and attend more fundraisers on Wednesday.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.