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Hullabaloo


Saturday, December 19, 2015

 
A picture of the divide

by digby

After Roseburg:















After San Bernardino:
President Barack Obama's visit to San Bernardino was inspiring – and healing, say some of the families of the people killed in the Dec. 2 San Bernardino mass shooting who met with the commander in chief.

Obama also met with the first responders who were on the scene of the attack.

"It was uplifting and we were inspired by the president just by his words," said Robert Velasco, of Fontana, the father of 27-year-old shooting victim Yvette Velasco, a retired California Highway Patrol lieutenant. "He had words of comfort and reassurance."

During the trip to Indian Springs High School, the president spent between five and 10 minutes with each family. The meetings lasted more than three hours.

Following the meeting, the president spoke briefly with reporters in a classroom.

The families of the victims "could not have been more inspiring," he said, "and more insistent that something good come of this tragedy."

Amy Wetzel, the former wife of Michael Wetzel and mother of his three oldest children,was impressed with the individual attention the president and the first lady gave to each of her kids: Andrew, 14; Kailee, 12; and Caden, 8.

"The kids love it. The kids were very excited," Wetzel said. "And at the very end, we were able to do a photo opportunity (with the president and his wife)."

The presidential couple gave each of the children an oval coin with an image of the White House and the president's signature.

"They were very accommodating and very kind," Wetzel said. "They talked to the kids and told them they were very sorry for their loss.”

Each child had his or her own conversation.

"Kailee and the first lady were talking about their finger nail polish," Wetzel said.

Karen Fagan, the ex-wife of San Bernardino shooting victim Harry “Hal” Bowman, 46, and mother of his two daughters, said the family is exhausted, but “in short - a wonderful experience. President and Mrs. Obama were very kind and sincerely interested in talking with us.”

The president reassured the families that authorities were working to prevent any such attack from happening again.

"He let everyone know the nation is mourning with us and they're working so it won't happen again," said Ryan Reyes, the boyfriend of victim Daniel Kaufman.

"It was very nice and very special and it was an honor, despite the circumstances," said Reyes, who was with Mark Sandefur, the uncle who raised Kaufman with his wife, Julie.

Velasco, of Fontana, said the president met with him and 11 other members of his family; family members told Obama they didn't want loss of his daughter's life to be in vain.

"He reassured us it would not be vain," Velasco said. "The whole country is behind us, and he will do all he can to make sure this never happens again."

James Godoy said he spoke with the president about gun control.

"He said its unfortunate that we've had to do this type of thing every three months lately," and that improvements to gun control were in the works, Godoy said.

When they reached his group, Michelle Obama sat with James' 23-month-old son and his niece. She put a coloring book in her lap and she colored with them while the president talked with the adults.

What impressed him most was the help the president offered to the families.

"He gave us a card and said to call if we need anything," James Godoy said.

The meeting was a nice experience for him, but it did little to heal his wounds, Godoy said.

"Obviously, there was more closure with the funeral. But you'd never say no to meeting the president," he said.


In fairness, the LA Times did report that there were some protesters on the route in San Bernardino:

A man in an American flag shirt hoisted his left fist in the air and held a sign reading “Defund ISIS,” and a woman had a sign that read, “No refugees in U.S.A.”


Of course, the Oregon shooting was not done by an American Muslim, just an American gun nut. That's what really makes the difference.

The annual fundraiser continues. If you can spare a couple of bucks it would be very much appreciated. Happy Hollandaise everyone!