Obama briefed on Oregon school shooting

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President Obama was briefed Tuesday on a shooting at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon that left a student and the gunman dead, the White House said.

According to local authorities, the shooting happened around 8 a.m. local time and a semi-automatic weapon was involved.

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It is the latest in a string of high-profile gun crimes in recent weeks, and one of nearly 75 school shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012. 

At that time, President Obama implemented a series of new administrative actions designed to help curb gun violence, and asked Congress to pass legislation implementing greater gun controls.

A bill tightening background checks on firearm purchases, including closing the loophole for gun shows, stalled in the Senate.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said gun control remained "a priority of the president's."

"He does have a commitment to trying to make progress on this issue, that there are some commonsense things that can be done that would make our communities safer and not infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans," Earnest said.

Pressed on why the president had not been more vocal in recent months about the need for gun control, Earnest said progress on the issue would "require citizens across the country making clear that this is a priority to them too."

"The president is going to continue to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally, using his executive authority, to try to make our communities safer," Earnest said. "We're always looking for those kinds of opportunities.

But none of those opportunities, when they present themselves, is going to be an acceptable substitute for robust legislative action, and that legislative action has been attempted but blocked," he added.