Aug 5, 2019

"Hate has no place in America": Trump addresses nation after mass shootings

Screenshot via whitehouse.gov

President Trump condemned racism and white supremacy Monday during an address to the nation after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend.

"In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul."

The state of play: Trump laid out four steps for combatting mass shootings in the U.S., but they did not include any significant gun control action — meaning it's unlikely they'll see any support from congressional Democrats. Additionally, he did not discuss his proposal on Twitter this morning, where he floated stronger background checks tied to immigration reform.

  1. Directing the Department of Justice to work more closely with local, state and federal agencies — as well as work by social media companies to detect potential mass shooters.
  2. Ending "the glorification of violence in our society," specifically citing violent video games.
  3. Reforming mental health laws.
  4. Passing "red flag" laws to prevent those judged to be a danger to society from obtaining guns.

The big picture: President Trump and other elected Republicans have consistently cited cultural factors — both on the internet and in violent video games — as reasons for mass shootings.

  • "We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start," Trump said.
  • "Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger — not the gun," he added.
  • Studies indicate that there is no link between violent video games and mass shootings.

Go deeper: America's hate problem

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Obama condemns leaders who "demonize" immigrants in statement on mass shootings

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former President Obama, in his first statement responding to the mass shootings that left at least 31 dead over the weekend, urged Americans to demand tougher gun laws from their public officials and condemn leaders whose language "feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments."

The big picture: 24 mass shootings occurred during the Obama administration — "more than the three preceding administrations combined," according to National Affairs. Among those tragedies was the mass shooting that killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., viewed by many former aides as one of the most challenging moments of the Obama presidency.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

Report: Health agencies blocked from discussing mental health after mass shootings

People gather at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Government health experts were told not to post anything related to mental health, violence or mass shootings without prior approval following this month's El Paso and Dayton shootings, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: That happened as President Trump was making claims about the link between mental illness and mass shootings that contradicted research on the subject.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

Violent video games don't cause mass shootings

Violent video games — as well as television and movies — have been a frequent scapegoat for acts of real-world violence.

Reality check: It's hard to ignore the fact that video games are popular all over the world, yet mass shootings aren't common in most of those places. Naturally, that was the case put forth by the Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry's trade group.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019