Obama claims this doesn’t happen in ‘advanced countries’. In other news, the president’s nose has grown 14 feet long.
Once again, President Obama addresses a nation in mourning.
Wednesday night, a lone gunman opened fire in a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine. Police are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. The suspect, a 21-year-old white male, has appeared in photographs wearing pro-apartheid paraphernalia. He was apprehended Thursday morning. “First, we must confirm this individual is involved in it,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said shortly after the arrest.
President Obama was joined by Vice President Joe Biden during the Thursday press statement.
“There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace in a place of worship,” Obama said, noting the historical significance of the church in which the shooting occurred. “mother emanuel is that in fact more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African-Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground, because its worshippers worked to end slavery. … this is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.”
The shooting prompted Obama to reiterate his position on combatting gun violence in America.
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” Obama said. “We don’t have all of the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.”
The president continued, suggesting that the country has to act to prevent gun violence. “Now is the time for mourning and for healing, but let’s be clear at some point, we as a country, we have to reckon with the fact that this mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” Obama said. “It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.”
Obama said he and the First Lady knew the pastor killed in Wednesday night’s shooting. “To say that our our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache a and the sadness and the anger that we feel,” he said.
Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley said in a press statement that both President Obama and Vice President Biden have personally called him, offering condolences and assurances of federal support.
“We all woke up today, and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, fighting through tears. “We have some grieving and pain that we have to go through.”
Read more: nationaljournal.com