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President Obama Mourns Shooting Victims, Addresses Gun Control

As the nation reels from the June 17 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine people dead, President Barack Obama said he mourned the slain and touched on the subject of gun control.

"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," Obama said from the White House Briefing Room. "It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”

Obama openly admitted his power was limited in this case.

"I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now," Obama said. "But it would 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, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”

This message was not entirely political. For Obama, the deaths were personal.

“Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night, and to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn't say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Obama has implored the public to reconsider how they treat gun control. In 2012, Obama stood behind the same podium to discuss the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Sources: The Washington Post, NPR

Image via Wikimedia Commons


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