The nation is in mourning today after the tragic shooting at a historic Charleston, South Carolina church where a pastor and eight worshippers were gunned down by what news reports say was a white supremacist. The alleged gunman appears to have been filled with irrational hatred of African-Americans and reportedly uttered an old stereotypical canard about blacks before he opened fire. In doing so, he sent a chill down the spine of every decent American who not only despises the twisted ideology he espoused but also understand the way an attack on a black church calls up horrible memories of the struggle for civil rights. That ought to be enough to give us all plenty of food for thought about the persistence of hate even in an era in which America has overcome its past prejudices to the point where an African-American man is serving out his second term as president of the United States. But unfortunately in his response to this tragedy, President Obama couldn’t resist using the incident to resurrect his crusade for more gun control. That was not only premature, it was largely irrelevant to the real danger that the Charleston shooting poses for our society.