On Thursday, President Barack Obama delivered a statement about the shooting at Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In the statement, he expressed his “sadness and anger” with the incident and with America’s current laws on who can and cannot purchase a firearm.
The President acknowledges that we don’t know everything about the shooting, but we do know that people minding their own business lost their lives because an individual was irresponsible with a gun. He was irresponsible with the gun, and perhaps more tellingly, he had “no trouble getting [his] hands on a gun” with the intent to “inflict harm.”
Obama understands that it is America’s responsibility to do something about firearm laws. The American public has always danced around the issue of gun control because people, in politics and out of it, often vehemently lean one way or another. But Obama realizes that the country can’t do that anymore. The country must “shift how [it thinks] about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
In his almost seven years as President of the United States, this is the fourteenth time Obama has had to deliver a statement on a mass shooting. It’s becoming a major theme in the United States – a major, devastating theme. President Obama knows that America needs legislature concerning stricter gun control. After the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut (which Obama refers to as “the worst day of [his] presidency”), Congress would not agree to restrictions on firearms that weren’t even extreme.
However, in his statement on Thursday, one thing was clear. Obama knows the country needs tighter gun control, but he also knows action, on Congress’ behalf, is currently almost impossible. Members of every political party oppose stricter regulations.
Our hearts go out to Charleston, South Carolina, at this difficult time.