President Obama will travel to Roseburg in Oregon today to meet the families of victims killed in the mass shooting at a community college last week.
His visit comes as America grapples with how to respond to the latest gun related massacre. With every mass shooting comes heightened fear over guns being anywhere near schools or colleges.
In McLean, Virginia, parents are dealing with the arrival of a shop that sells high-powered weapons and handguns right next door to Franklin Sherman elementary school.
On the morning school run, dad Matt Rampy said: “I’m outraged – I think it’s terrible that you have a guns store in such close proximity.
“In Virginia we have an open carry law that allows you to carry a weapon on your belt without a permit. “When you have that so close to a school you have an inability to assess whether you have a threat or not.” Nova Firearms opened on the school’s doorstep days before the massacre in Oregon. The distance from the school is certainly striking – they share a back perimeter. A classroom used everyday by the children is a stone’s throw from the unassuming white building that houses and sells lethal weapons.
Store manager Rachel Dresser says some parents have told her they support the store being there and think it could even protect their children:
“Having people with firearms that are trained would actually be a deterrent for anyone to do anything in this area including the elementary school because there would be people in such close proximity to respond.”
Gun enthusiasts and the National Rifle Association are rallying behind the shop. While we were filming they had numerous calls from members of the public – one from as far away as Hawaii – offering their support as parents vow to have the store moved. Michelle May is already disturbed by seven-year old son Spencer having to learn lockdown drills in case of a mass shooting.
He told us what happens: “It’s really scary because the teacher turns down the shades and locks the door and puts the black thing – like a little cover for the windows – to see if anyone’s in there and you have to hide in one place and be silent.”
I asked whether she thinks the gun store makes her son safer.
“What is having a gun store next to it going to do for the school?” asks Michelle May. “Like the gunshop owner’s going to come out out with a loaded gun and play hero?”
Thirteen miles down the road on Capitol Hill the gun debate is back on the agenda with presidential hopefuls and other Democrats once again pushing their control proposals.
But the chances of a change in legislation are slim.
“It’s not very likely we’re going to see any change as far as the laws go on gun control,” says Paige Lavender, senior politics editor at the Huffington Post.
“The fact of the matter is that Obama is a Democrat and Republicans control the House and the Senate. “Even though these Democratic senators are putting this legislation forth, Republicans are going to be able to stop it.”
Statistically, there has been a mass killing in the US everyday this year.