Law enforcement from different agencies work the scene of a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Multiple people were killed and one person was in custody after a shooter went on a rampage at a shopping mall, police in the Texas border town of El Paso said. (AP Photo/Rudy Gutierrez)
In a press conference Monday morning from The White House, President Trump named several areas that can be addressed to help alleviate the problem of mass shootings following two deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend.
Trump forcefully blamed the shooters themselves, calling one a “wicked man” and the other a “twisted monster,” and called for legislators, social media companies, and Americans in general to come together to stop mass shootings before they happen.
“This is a crime against all humanity,” Trump said. “We ask God in heaven to ease the anguish to those who suffer and we vow to act with urgent resolve.”
The president spent some time in his short address naming all the factors that have been circulating on social media as reasons for why shooters act, including internet-radicalized white supremacy, unchecked mental illness, easy access to weapons by those who may be a threat to society, and a culture that glorifies violence.
He called specifically for bi-partisan moves regarding passing legislation such as “red flag laws” to address the increasing incidents of mass shootings, announced the DOJ will be available to provide “any and all assistance” in the investigation of mass shootings, and requested the help of social media companies in identifying shooters before they act.
“We must shine light on the dark resources of the internet and stop mass murders before they start,” Trump said, referring to the internet radicalization that so often accompanies mass shootings. “It’s too easy for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that glorifies violence.”
“Culture change is hard,” he finished.
The president also acknowledged the heroism of the police officers in Ohio who stopped the shooter within a minute of his attack, and offered condolences to Mexico for the death of their citizens in El Paso, Texas, where the shooter was said to have posted a manifesto in which he indicated his intent was to kill Mexican nationals.
While the president’s address generally called for the mobilization of everyone to begin helping identify shooters and those prone to violence, he also mentioned his desire to see the DOJ propose legislation that calls for the death penalty in the case of mass shootings.
“We will ensure those who were attacked will not have died in vain,” Trump said.