President Obama addresses the killings in South Carolina:
I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make comments like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all 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…Now is the time for mourning and healing, but 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. 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.
He also says he and first lady Michelle Obama have relationships with many of the church’s parishioners, including the slain pastor.