President Obama spoke about the South Carolina church massacre from the White House on Thursday, and seemed to express support for stricter gun control in the United States.
“Any death of this sort is a tragedy, any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy, there’s something particularly heartbreaking about death happening in a place we seek solace, and we seek peace, in a place of worship,” he said.
Nine people were killed in Wednesday’s shooting at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Alleged shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, has been taken into police custody.
Obama, who knew the church’s pastor, noted he’s had to comment after horrific gun deaths far too often during his two presidential terms.
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” the president said, adding that once again, a troubled person had no trouble getting their hands on guns.
“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 doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency,” Obama said.
“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 would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.”