Trump condemns racism after shootings: ‘These sinister ideologies must be defeated’
President Donald Trump on Monday sent prayers to the victims and survivors of two deadly shootings over the weekend and said it’s time for Americans to come together to “stop this evil contagion.”
“We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed and the terror,” Trump said during a brief Monday morning speech. “Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives.”
He mentioned the “manifesto” that law enforcers found written by the El Paso shooting suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius from Allen, and said it was consumed “by racist hate.”
He called on Americans to unite.
“In one voice, our country 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.”
Texas Democrats on Monday agreed that racism and white nationalist terrorism riddles the country.
But they noted in a statement that racism “has been perpetuated and fueled by the President of the United States and spread by Republicans in Texas.”
Meanwhile, Trump in his speech also said the Internet “has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalized, disturbed minds who perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet and stop mass murders before they start.”
Trump’s administration banned bump stocks — attachments that could make semi-automatic rifles fire rapidly — after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed nearly 60 people attending a concert.
Now the president said the country must seek bipartisan solutions including better identifying early warning signs, stopping the “glorification of violence in our society,” reforming mental health laws and establish red-flag laws that call for the seizure or surrender of guns by people determined dangerous by a judge.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” Trump said.
He noted that there is so much more the country must do.
“Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside,” he said. “Our future is in our control.”
Some were quick to respond to Trump’s comments.
“Let’s be clear: This is not about mental health, it’s not about video games, it’s not about movies,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement. “Those are all NRA talking points. This is about easy access to guns.
“We’ve been down this road with the president before after Parkland. If he actually means what he says, he should call Majority Leader McConnell today to get a public pledge from him that he will call the Senate back immediately and take up bipartisan background checks and Red Flag legislation. No more politics, it’s time for action.”
Some Tarrant congressional members weighed in on the Texas shooting over the weekend.
“Praying for the El Paso community and my friend @mayor_margo today. I stand ready to assist in any way I can,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican whose district stretches from the edges of Tarrant County through Austin.
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Pilot Point, said he donated blood Sunday to help shooting victims.
“Texans are mourning the loss of fellow Texans. As we await more details on the cowardly attack in El Paso, I am grateful for the bravery & professionalism of law enforcement, as well as the skill of first responders & medical staff that provided lifesaving trauma care to victims,” Burgess tweeted.
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, posted on Facebook that he was heartbroken by the shooting.
“My heart goes out to the victims and their families that were impacted by this senseless act of violence,” he wrote. “Le us keep them and our brave first responders in our thoughts as we continue to gather the facts about this horrific event.
“One thing we do know: it’s past time for common sense gun reform,” he wrote. “We are praying for you, El Paso.”