"If Congress had passed some common sense gun safety reforms after Newtown, after a group of children had been gunned down in their own classroom, we might still have some more Americans with us." he said. "We might have stopped one shooter. Some families might still be whole. We all might have to attend fewer funerals and we should be strong enough to acknowledge this."
Speaking at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco Friday, the president urged Americans to rethink the importance of gun legislation and encourage politicians to act on it.
"I am not resigned. I have faith we will eventually do the right thing," he said.
On Wednesday, Dylann Roof, 21, a white man, allegedly open fire in a church Bible study group, killing nine African-Americans. The president said the suspect's alleged motivations should unit the country in a fight against them.
“The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together," he said. "We have made great progress but we have to be vigilant because it’s still lingering and when its’ poisoning the minds of young people it betrays our ideals and it tears our democracy apart.”