President Obama made a statement on the mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church on Thursday, saying that, “I’ve had to make comments like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.” He also shared that not only do he and Michelle know members of the historic church, but that they knew the pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was among those murdered.
He also recognized the role politics plays in gun violence tragedies: “Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” he said, adding:
“But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It does not happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it’d be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it.”
A short clip from NBC News appears above. Click through to watch the full video.