Pelosi Statement on Six Years Since the Mother Emanuel Church Massacre

June 17, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement marking six years since the racist act of violence that killed nine parishioners at the historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015:

“On this solemn day, Americans mourn the nine peaceful parishioners who were brutally murdered as they gathered in prayer at the Mother Emanuel Church six years ago.  For the entire nation – especially the families of the beautiful souls we lost and the Charleston community – the nearly unfathomable pain of this racist shooting still lingers today.

“Last year was the deadliest for gun violence in decades, highlighting how this American crisis is only accelerating.  Inspired by the urgent cries of resilient survivors and tireless activists, House Democrats are committed to ending gun violence once and for all.  In March, we passed Majority Whip James Clyburn’s Enhanced Background Checks Act, which would close the loophole that enabled the deadly hate crime at Mother Emanuel.  The House also passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act: vital legislation that will establish universal background checks across the nation and help save lives.  Democrats join the American people in calling on our Republican colleagues to finally enact these vital, bipartisan measures into law.

“Today, and every day, we draw inspiration from the enduring faith and love of the Mother Emanuel congregation.  In honor of every precious life we have lost to the deadly epidemics of racism and gun violence, let us never relent in our work to build a future where all Americans can live in our communities with dignity, safety and pride.”