Obama: Michelle and I Knew Pastor Killed in SC

President complains that suspect had 'no trouble' getting a gun
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2015 12:19 PM CDT
Obama: Michelle and I Knew Pastor Killed in SC
President Obama pauses while speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Thursday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama found himself in an all-too familiar position today, addressing the nation after mass violence. "I've had to make statements like this too many times," he said in reference to the church massacre in Charleston. "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," he said, as quoted by the National Journal. Obama added that he and the first lady knew the pastor who was killed, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, along with other parishioners at Emanuel AME Church, reports the AP.

"The fact that this took place in a black church also raises questions about a dark part of our history," said Obama. He invoked Martin Luther King's eulogy for the four girls killed in a Birmingham church bombing decades ago, saying, "They lived meaningful lives and they died nobly," reports NBC News. And he again made the plea for gun reform. "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," said the president. "It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it." (The suspect is in custody.)

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