President Barack Obama has spoken dozens of times about mass gun shootings and, including yesterday, has addressed it in at least seven speeches. Across the country, mass shootings only account for a small percentage of shooting deaths. Gun violence is a complex issue, and will take more than speeches or individual responsibility to end.
On Thursday this week, Obama addressed a seventh mass shooting: that in Charleston, South Carolina, at a church gathering at Emanuel AME Church:
"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.
And 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. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. 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.
The shooting at Mother Emanuel is just one of many attacks on black churches in American history.