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Obama on Charleston: It’s too easy to get guns in America

President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed profound “sadness and anger” at the Charleston church shooting as well as deeply personal frustration that America’s political climate makes it virtually impossible for now to tighten restrictions on who can buy firearms.

“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,” Obama said in the White House briefing room, Vice President Joe Biden standing at his side.

“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,” the president said. “But it’d 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.”

Throughout Obama’s remarks, Biden stood grim-faced, his hands clasped in front of him, fingers laced, with an a expression of grief on his face. The vice president, whose elder son died of cancer earlier this month, looked worn.

It was Obama’s 14th statement on a mass shooting since taking office, according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, the closest thing to a presidential records keeper in the White House press corps.

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” Obama said Thursday.



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