Obama Administration Fast-Tracking Payout to Victims of Charleston Shooting

The Charleston, South Carolina church shooting was a terrible thing. As are all mass shootings. The Obama administration is doing something very different in the aftermath of this shooting, than was done with any of the others.

What is different is that the administration is fast-tracking a huge payout to the Charleston victims, according to an announcement Wednesday. The action by the Obama administration is much more money and much quicker than in the case of previous senseless violence such as Sandy Hook, Boston, Aurora, and others.

The shooting at the historic black church left nine people dead. The White House is to send $29 million taxpayer dollars to South Carolina.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina

Reuters reports that a large portion of the $29 million is to be allocated as part of the national Crime Victim Assistance Formula Grant program. It is meant to provide services to the families of those killed. Among the dead was Pastor Clementa Pinckney, a man well known to Barack Obama, who also served as a South Carolina state senator.

Not only is the $29 million payout significantly more than given to the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting ($2.9 million); the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting ($1.5 million); and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing ($8.3 million), it is more than the sum of all of them.

Looking back at the Sandy Hook tragedy, a press release was issued at the time, but it made no mention of the number of victims. That massacre resulted in the deaths of 20 children and seven adults. As you may remember, Adam Lanza shot and killed himself after shooting the others.

Looking at the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, three spectators were killed, and 280 people were injured. The manhunt for the perpetrators ended in the death of one and the capture of the other days later. Dzhokar Tsarnaev has now been sentenced to death.

The announcement of the payout for the Sandy Hook victims was made a year after the shooting. The Aurora payout announcement came seven months after that shooting; and the payout for the Boston bombing victims came nine months after the bombing.

An explanation has been offered for the unusually fast response from the government in this latest shooting event. Apparently, it had already been decided just two days after the shooting.

Note that the federal government made additional payouts to the Sandy Hook victims after the initial $1.5 million. That total was $14.3 million, according to InvestmentWatch.

That $14.3 million is still less than half of what has been organized for Charleston. Taxpayers understand that governments provide grants for things like this. What nobody understands is why the huge increase and the haste in this case. In the case of Sandy Hook, there was haste, too, but that was haste in destroying any evidence of what happened.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.