WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has expressed anger, sadness and heartache at the church shooting that killed nine people in Charleston, South Carolina.
He says Wednesday night’s shooting inside a historic black church shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence in America.
The president said that too often, he’s had to come to microphone to mourn the deaths of innocents killed by those who had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.
“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,” Obama said.
Obama says he and Vice President Joe Biden telephoned Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. to express condolences.
The president says he and first lady Michelle Obama knew several parishioners there, including the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, among those killed.
Obama spoke from the White House briefing room before departing on a weekend fundraising trip to California.