President Addresses Charleston Shooting

President Obama held a news conference to address the tragic shooting at a Charleston, SC, church. Nine people were killed at a black church by a white man. The President said a hate crime investigation will begin.

Obama Charleston

Much of the news conference focused on gun control:

"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 for 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."

The President also discussed our nation's history:

"‘The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know that hatred across races and faiths pose[s] a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.'"

Discussion Starters:

  • Critics say the President didn't say enough about the hate crime. What's your view?
  • How well did the President address reporters' questions at the news conference. What advice would you give him for future sessions?