President Obama delivered the eulogy and led a singing of "Amazing Grace" in Charleston, South Carolina, in remembrance of state Senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine killed last week in the Emanuel AME Church shooting. "Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Rev. Pinckney and that Bible study group," Obama said.
Obama also praised the nation's response to the removal of Confederate flags, saying, "It's true a flag did not cause these murders... but for too long we were blind to the pain it caused."
As expected, Obama also used the eulogy to call for gun control reforms, expressing that gun violence inflicts a "unique mayhem" on the nation that only "sporadically" opens our eyes. Obama insisted the nation not return to a comfortable silence after the attacks. "Clem understood that justice grows out of recognition," Obama said.
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Obama has offered statements before following gun-related violence in Tucson, Arizona; Newton, Connecticut; Fort Hood, Texas; and Aurora, Colorado. "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn't happen in other advanced countries... with this frequency," he said in a statement last week.
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