New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday said laws will not change the epidemic of gun violence in America after nine people were shot and killed while worshipping in a South Carolina church.
“This type of conduct is something that only our display of our own love and good faith that's in our heart can change, laws can't change this, only the goodwill and the love of the American people can let those folks know that that act was unacceptable, disgraceful and we need to do more to show that we love each other,” Christie said in an address to the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
The Wednesday night shooting has reignited the debate over gun control. “How many innocent people in our country — from little children, to church members to movie theater attendees — how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?” Hillary Clinton said on Thursday, referencing a number of recent mass shootings that have taken place throughout the country.
In a statement at the White House on Thursday, President Barack Obama said the gun violence taking place in America does not happen in any other country. “I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now,” he added.
Aside from Christie, Republican presidential candidates have so far kept the debate over guns out of their reactions.
“This was an evil act of aggression,” Jeb Bush said at the top of his remarks to the conference. “I don't know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes, but I do know – I do know what was in the heart of the victims. They were meeting at brotherhood and sisterhood in that church, they were – it was Wednesday evening, they were praying. They were learning and studying the word of the lord to find grace in his kingdom, to fill his house with love.”