Obama: Church Shooting ‘Raises Questions About a Dark Part of Our History’

President Barack Obama speaks at the Catholic Hospital Association Conference about healthcare reform, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(NBC News) – President Barack Obama on Thursday addressed the horrific South Carolina church shooting in emotional remarks that invoked America’s turbulent racial history and the heated politics over gun control.

“I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions tragedies like this raise,” the president said. “I’ve had to make comments like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.”

“Now is the time for mourning and healing, but let’s be clear: At some point as a country, we have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” the president said. “It is in our power to do something about it… I say this knowing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those opportunities.”

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