HILLARY: It's time for some 'hard truths' on guns

Hillary ClintonREUTERS/Jim YoungFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the US public must face “hard truths” about guns in the aftermath of a church massacre in South Carolina.

“In order to make sense of it, we have to be honest,” Clinton said, according to multiple reports. “We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns, and division.”

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for president in 2016, made the comments while addressing the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The day before, nine people were shot to death in at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. According to The New York Times, a local police chief said the killings are being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Clinton, who was in Charleston on Wednesday, said she was particularly shaken by the incident.

“When I got to Las Vegas, I learned about the horrific massacre in the church. You know the shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep,” she said.

Like President Barack Obama, Clinton said the massacre should serve as a call to action — presumably on the hot-button issue of gun control.

“How many innocent people in our country — from little children, to church members, to movie theatre attendees — how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?” she asked, referencing mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut in 2012. “So as we mourn, and as our hearts break a little more, and as we send this message of solidarity — that we will not forsake those who have been victimized by gun violence — this time, we have to find answers together.”

NOW WATCH: Stunning video shows the earthquake damage across Nepal

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.