President Donald Trump condemned white supremacy on Monday, calling for Americans to unite around several proposals to help identify and prevent mass shootings.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America, hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”
The president called for federal and local law enforcement to help identify ways to prevent hate crimes and “domestic terrorism” in the United States.
Trump spoke to the nation from the White House in response to two mass shootings that took place over the weekend. Twenty people were killed in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday and ten people were killed in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday.
“These barbaric slaughters are an assault on our communities, an attack on our nation and a crime against all humanity,” Trump said. “We are sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror.”
Trump described the Texas shooting suspect as a “wicked” man who shot innocent people and the Ohio shooter as a “twisted monster.”
“The first lady and I join all Americans praying and grieving for all the victims,” he said.
The president signaled support for stronger laws regulating the Internet, social media, and violent video games and supported the concept of improved mental health and “red flag” laws, allowing relatives to recommend court-ordered seizures of their firearms.
He called for bipartisan solutions that “worked” and did not mention the ban of certain types of firearms.
“Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun,” he said.
Trump described the shootings as “barbaric slaughters” calling them “an assault on our communities.” He praised the “grace and courage” of the first responders and said he spoke with the Governors of Ohio and Texas as well as the mayors of Dayton and El Paso in response to the shooting.
The president also expressed his sadness to the president of Mexico for the Mexican nationals killed in the shooting in El Paso.
Trump condemned the “racist hate” and “white supremacy” of the El Paso shooter.
“These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” he said.
The president also noted that the internet and social media were responsible for helping radicalize mass shooters.
“We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts,” he said. “We must shine a light on the dark recesses of the Internet and stop mass murders before they start.”
Social media, he said, was an “evil contagion” for hatred.
He called for bipartisanship in response to the shooting to make America safer.
“We must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people,” he said. “Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real bipartisan solutions.”
The president also blamed violent and “gruesome and grisly” video games for contributing to the shootings.
“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” he said. “We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately.”
Trump also called for stronger mental health laws that would help “better identify” mentally disturbed individuals capable of mass shootings.
He proposed that new laws could ensure that individuals suffering from mental health could “not only get treatment but when necessary, involuntary confinement.”
Trump also said he would direct the Justice Department to propose legislation that would level the death penalty on mass shooters and individuals guilty of hate crimes.
Author: Charlie Spiering