Joseph P. Riley Jr. , the longtime Democrat mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, blamed the Second Amendment for the killing of nine people at a church in the city last night.
“I personally believe there are far too many guns out there, and access to guns, it’s far too easy. Our society has not been able to deal with that yet,” he said.
He said the Second Amendment results in “easy ability for people to gain possession” of firearms and “no doubt contributes to violent acts.”
Riley has advocated preventing Americans from exercising their constitutional right to own firearms for decades.
He said he was disappointed more Americans did not support the “major national effort” to restrict the Second Amendment following “the tragic event with the school in New England,” a reference to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“I’ve never stopped pushing for it,” he said of his views on rolling back the amendment. “This is just a very heartbreaking and tragic example of why it is needed.”
Polls indicate more than half of all Americans support the right to own firearms.