An emotional President Obama delivered a personal statement in the White House press briefing this afternoon in reaction to the shooting at a church in South Carolina.
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” he said, adding that although law enforcement officials did not have all the facts, he thinks it was obvious that “someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.”
Obama sternly lectured Americans, reminding them that mass shootings did not happen in other advanced countries.
“It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency,” he said bluntly.
He also noted disapprovingly that the political climate in Washington D.C. made it difficult to pass gun control, but asked for people to change their thinking on the issue.
“It would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it,” he said, “And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
After making his statement, the president left the White House for a long weekend in California where he is expected to attend four fundraisers, deliver a speech, conduct an interview, and likely play golf.