For Release: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Washington, DC — On June 17, a man opened fire at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people, in an incident that law enforcement are calling a hate crime. One of the victims was a state senator, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
Violence Policy Center (VPC) Executive Director Josh Sugarmann made the following statement:
“This gun massacre in a place of worship was an unspeakable act of violence that has no place in a civilized nation. As we continue to learn more details about the incident, we must also take all necessary steps to ensure it never happens again. Nationwide, unfettered access to guns gives hate-filled individuals the means to carry out mass shootings with shocking regularity. We must take action to end our nation’s gun crisis.”