President Trump has made the call for stronger background checks, “red flag” laws and more in response to two mass shootings over the weekend.
In a 12-minute speech Monday morning, Trump denounced the violence and called for a five-step action plan, consisting of “identifying and acting on early warning signs” of potential mass murderers, ending “glorification of violence” in society, reforming mental health laws, enacting “red flag” laws to remove guns from those deemed a threat to society, and proposing legislation to punish perpetrators of hate crimes and mass murders with the death penalty.
Watch his remarks in the video below, beginning at 22:15:
“These barbaric slaughters are an assault on our communities, an attack on our nation, and a crime against humanity,” Trump said of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that killed a total of 29 people.
“We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror,” Trump said. “Our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” he explained. “That’s why I have called for ‘red flag laws’ also known as extreme risk protection orders.”
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he said.
Trump called on federal, state, and local agencies along with internet companies to develop improved tools to identify warning signs of those indicating they could commit such acts of violence, and improve protocols for acting upon those warning signs.
He attributed the “dark recesses of the internet,” including violent video games, and “a culture that celebrates violence” for helping shape violent behaviors fostered by mass murderers.
“Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We always have and always will win. The choice is ours and ours alone. It’s not up to mentally ill monsters, it’s up to us,” he said in closing.
In a two-part tweet early Monday morning, the President had said, “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them.”
“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!” he tweeted.
….this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
Democrats have been calling for gun reform even before the past weekend’s events, a call they are demanding more loudly after the latest mass shootings.
Similarly, Republicans have been calling for immigration reform as a solution to the overwhelming numbers of immigrants flooding the border, in what Trump has declared a national emergency and federal agencies have called a crisis.
It’s unclear what legislation could follow the President’s remarks, but many of his supporters are against stricter gun control measures.