In an interesting turn of events, following a deadly weekend of hate-fueled mass shootings, United States President Donald Trump has denounced white supremacy. Just this past weekend, a mass shooter in Dayton, Ohio and one in El Paso Texas has left over forty innocent people dead and dozens more seriously injured. President Trump called the acts “barbaric”.
The president condemned white supremacy as federal investigators are looking into an anti-immigration manifesto which was allegedly written and left behind by the shooter in the El Paso event, Patrick Crusius.
In addition, President Trump said that he had spoken to Attorney General William Barr and is urging the US Department of Justice to instate the death penalty for all hate-crime mass murders.
President Trump said, “Mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger, not the gun”.
Adding, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacism”.
Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the DEATH PENALTY – and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay. pic.twitter.com/BDXdpelK7F
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
He also stated that video games “glorifying violence” have become commonplace and must be “substantially reduced”. A sentiment which has been adopted and echoed by the Republican Partry since the 1990s.
Although President Trump suggested the government devise a “bipartisan solution”, he made no mention of gun regulations and laws. He stated he wants legislation requiring “strong background checks” while providing little details as to what that legislation might look like.
Hours before speaking to the public, from the white house, he released a statement on Twitter that a background check bill might be coupled with a bill to toughen the United State’s immigration policies, an effort which has been a focal point of this administration for some time. He gave no details as to these bills which have drawn heavy reproach from Democratic Party members.
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told MSNBC, in an interview, “What’s [the] connection between background checks and immigration reform? That we have to keep guns out of the hands of the invading hordes? That’s disgusting. It reminds me of the 1930s in Germany.”
Both of the shooters in the weekend’s incidents in Ohio and Texas were United States citizens. Federal investigators are citing possible anti-immigration bias in the El Paso mass murder.
Since the beginning of his first term as US president, Donald Trump has attempted to marry and promote the building of a wall at the US – Mexico border with a reform of legal immigration restrictions which would prioritize merit over familial ties, which he believes to be gaining momentum.
In El Paso, Texas, where the death toll has officially risen to 22, there was opposition to President Trump’s proposed policies.
Helena Ramirez, a 42-year-old volunteer from San Francisco, who visits El Paso often to work with community groups has said that equating background checks and immigration had no logic according to an Independent Minds article.
She was quoted as saying, “The president is fomenting hate”. She also stated that she is afraid we may be heading towards a civil war with “all these people stockpiling weapons.”
Mental Health and Racism
However, Ramirez says she agrees with President Trump that we may have a problem with mental health.
The same article also quoted Hillary Chan, a 25-year-old volunteer from Oakland, California, who said that the president’s initiatives “did not make much sense” since it was not an immigrant who shot and killed innocent people in a Texas Walmart, it was “someone with deep-seated racism.”
A lawyer with the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas, Nicolas Palazzo, was quoted as saying, “It’s a false equation trying to tie this to immigration.”
Palazzo also stated that he doubts President Trump will pass any sort of relevant gun reform laws because he believes the National Rifle Association (NRA), a very powerful gun rights advocacy group, would not allow it. He told Independent Minds that we are seeing policies being drafted by the Republican Party which appear to be “deeply dangerous.”
While the Trump Administration has received much criticism, over the weekend, following a string of mass shootings, President Trump defensively attempted to assure the American people that his administration is dealing with the issue of gun violence.
Trump said, “We have done much more than most administrations. We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done,” and left it at that.
In the face of an increased frequency of mass shootings, Congress has done little to pass meaningful legislation regarding gun violence during this session due largely to pushback from the Republican-led senate. In this respect, the Republican Party, as a whole, seems unwavering, as is President Trump.