Clinton On Charleston: 'How Many People Do We Need To See Cut Down Before We Act?'

| by Kathryn Schroeder

During a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for action to stop violent acts after learning of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting that killed nine people.

“When I got to Las Vegas I learned about the horrific massacre in the church. You know the shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep,” Clinton said during her speech, per the video at ABC News. “Nine people. Women and men, cut down at prayer. Murdered in a house of God. It just broke my heart.

“That of course is the last place we should see violence but we shouldn’t see it anywhere," she added.

Clinton continued on to say that we need to decide where our country will go following the shooting and that we must “face hard truths about race, violence, guns, and division.”

Clinton had been in Charleston for a campaign event at a trade school just a few hours before the shooting took place.

“How many people do we need to see cut down before we act,” Clinton said after referring to other mass shootings that have occurred in prior years, including the 2012 mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

“As we mourn and as our hearts break a little more … we will not forsake those who have been victimized by gun violence,” Clinton said.

Clinton did not offer a specific plan to reduce gun violence during her speech, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The crowd in attendance for the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials reportedly gave her a standing ovation.

Clinton’s speech also included pledges to expand early childhood education and to change the nation’s immigration system.

The Charleston shooting is believed to have been racially motivated, according to local officials. The suspect, a 21-year-old white man named Dylann Roof, allegedly told those in attendance at the church he wanted to “kill black people” before opening fire.

He reportedly admitted that he wanted to incite a "race war" with the shooting.

Sources: ABC News, The Los Angeles Times

Photo Source: Screenshot/ABC News