The widow of Emanuel AME Church’s slain pastor who survived the horrific massacre is on stage with President Obama this morning as he unveils executive actions to bolster background checks and enforcement of gun laws.
Jennifer Pinckney hid in an office with their 6-year-old daughter during the June 17 shooting when her husband, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was gunned down in a hail of 77 bullets that left nine church worshippers dead.
Pinckney is attending the White House event with both of the couple’s two young daughters and her husband’s close friend and fellow South Carolina state senator, Gerald Malloy, who now serves as her attorney. She is standing to the podium’s left. Malloy is sitting with the Pinckneys’ daughters in the front row in front of the podium.
The press conference began with Mark Barden describing the loss of his little boy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Barden introduced the president, who arrived to a standing ovation and prolonged applause from shooting survivors on hand.
He noted 30,000 people die in gun violence a year, plus those who are injured.
“Many had to learn to live with disabilities or without the love of their life,” he said with Pinckney standing over his shoulder.
Also in the White House audience is Sharon Risher, a trauma chaplain in Dallas whose mother, Ethel Lance, was killed in the Emanuel AME Church shooting. Risher has fought for gun control measures and applauded the president’s efforts.
Read more: postandcourier.com