President Trump on Monday addressed the mass shootings occurred over the weekend, laying out several avenues Democrats and Republicans can take to make America safer but stopping short of calling for the ban of assault-style weapons.
Trump called for “bipartisan solutions” as he set out four avenues of action: Identifying potential mass shooters before they strike; curtailing violent video games that “celebrate violence”; reforming mental health laws; and strictly limiting firearms to troubled people under “red flag laws.”
“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed with racist hate,” Trump said during in a speech from the Diplomatic Room of the White House. “In one voice, our nation must condemn bigotry, hatred and white supremacy,” he said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”
“We can and will stop this evil contagion,” he added.
Over the weekend, 30 people were killed and another 53 injured in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in two horrific mass shootings. In El Paso, a 21-year-old gunman opened fire on Saturday morning in a Walmart crowded shoppers, killing 20 and wounding 26 others. In Dayton, a 24-year-old man wearing body armor fired at people in on the streets about 1 a.m. Sunday, killing nine and wounding 27 in less than a minute.
Trump on Monday urged social media companies “to develop tools to identify mass shooters before they strike.”
“The perils of the internet and social media cannot be ignored, and will not be ignored,” he said.
Trump also took at video games, saying they are part of a “culture that glorifies violence.”
“This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.”
And he targeted mental health. “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger ― not the gun,” he said. “We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement.”
The president said he supports “red flag laws” that allow law enforcement authorities to take away guns from those deemed dangerous.
“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.”
And he directed the Justice Department to propose legislation that would deliver the death penalty to mass shooters, saying this “capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.”