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Trump says he wants stronger gun checks, gives few details

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    President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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    Vice President Mike Pence follows President Donald Trump as he arrives to speak about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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    President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Published August 05. 2019 11:30AM


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday condemned weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio as barbaric crimes “against all humanity” and called for bipartisan cooperation to respond to an epidemic of gun violence.

Trump said he wants legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, but he provided scant details and has reneged on previous promises after mass shootings.

“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” Trump said Monday.

Trump spoke Monday from the White House about shootings that left 29 dead and dozens wounded. He suggested early on Twitter that a background check bill could be paired with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system.

But he didn’t say how or why he was connecting the issues. Both shooting suspects were U.S. citizens, and federal officials are investigating anti-immigrant bias as a potential motive for the El Paso, Texas, massacre.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said, adding that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.

Trump has frequently sought to tie his immigration priorities — a border wall and transforming the legal immigration system to one that prioritizes merit over familial ties — to legislation around which he perceives momentum to be building.

Trump offered few specific solutions to address violence, and signaled he would oppose large-scale gun control efforts pushed by Democrats, saying, “hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

Trump called for law enforcement and social media companies to do more to combat extremism and spot warning signs of violence online. He also called for a reduction in the “glorification” of violence in American culture, laws to make it easier to commit those with mental illness and “red flag laws” to separate such individuals from firearms.

Trump also directed the Department of Justice to seek and prioritize the enforcement of the death penalty in cases of hate crimes and mass shootings.

Over the weekend, Trump tried to assure Americans he was dealing with the problem and defended his administration in light of criticism following the latest in a string of mass shootings.

“We have done much more than most administrations,” he said, without elaboration. “We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done.”

Congress has proven unable to pass substantial gun violence legislation this session, despite the frequency of mass shootings, in large part because of resistance from Republicans, particularly in the GOP-controlled Senate. That political dynamic seems difficult to change.

And Trump himself has reneged on previous pledges to strengthen gun laws.

After other mass shootings he called for strengthening the federal background check system, and in 2018 he signed legislation to increase federal agency data sharing into the system. But he has resisted Democratic calls to toughen other gun control laws.

In February, the House approved bipartisan legislation to require federal background checks for all gun sales and transfers and approved legislation to allow a review period of up to 10 days for background checks on firearms purchases. The White House threatened a presidential veto if those measures passed Congress.

At a February meeting with survivors and family members of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting in which 17 people died, Trump promised to be “very strong on background checks.”

Trump claimed he would stand up to the gun lobby and finally get results in quelling gun violence. But he later retreated, expressing support for modest changes to the federal background check system and for arming teachers.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that if Trump is serious about strengthening background checks, he should demand Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “put the bipartisan, House-passed universal background checks bill up for a vote.”

In the El Paso attack, investigators are focusing on whether it was a hate crime after the emergence of a racist, anti-immigrant screed that was posted online shortly beforehand. Detectives sought to determine if it was written by the man who was arrested. The border city has figured prominently in the immigration debate and is home to 680,000 people, most of them Latino.

On Twitter Monday, Trump seemed to deflect from scrutiny over the manifesto, which had language mirroring some of his own. As Democrats have called on Trump to tone down his rhetoric, Trump blamed the news media for the nation’s woes.

“Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” he claimed

As Trump weighs trips to the affected communities — the Federal Aviation Administration advised pilots of a presidential visit Wednesday to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio — local lawmakers signaled opposition to his presence.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat who represents El Paso, said Trump is “not welcome” to visit the city.

In recent weeks, the president has issued racist tweets about four women of color who serve in Congress, and in rallies has spoken of an “invasion” at the southern border. His reelection strategy has placed racial animus at the forefront in an effort that his aides say is designed to activate his base of conservative voters, an approach not seen by an American president in the modern era.

Trump also has been widely criticized for offering a false equivalency when discussing racial violence, notably when he said there were “very fine people, on both sides,” after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of an anti-racism demonstrator.

On gun control, a majority of Americans have consistently said they support stronger laws, but proposals have stalled repeatedly in Congress, a marked contrast to some countries that have acted swiftly after a mass shooting.

In March, a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found a majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws. The survey was conducted both before and after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand. It found that 67 percent of Americans support making US gun laws stricter, while 22 percent say they should be left as they are and 10 percent think they should be made less strict.

Less than a week after the mosque shootings, New Zealand moved to ban “military-style” semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines; similarly, after a mass shooting in 1996, Australia enacted sweeping gun bans within two weeks.

The poll suggested many Americans would support similar measures, but there’s a wide gulf between Democrats and Republicans on banning specific types of guns. Overall, 6 in 10 Americans support a ban on AR-15 rifles and similar semi-automatic weapons. Roughly 8 in 10 Democrats, but just about 4 in 10 Republicans, support that policy.



I get confused when they start categorizing crimes as a "Hate" Crime. When does shooting someone dead, become a hate crime? Is it only a hate crime because the shooter used a semi-auto? If one takes the life of another using a bear hug (choke hold), could a jury find that to be a "Love" Crime? This dumb bigoted, racist, sexist, ham-n-egger is confused... again.
Pretty basic, we have long used motive as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing. In this case murder intended to target and further terrorize an ethnic group are subject to further consequences. Surely you want the El Paso shooter to face the fullest of the law no?
You must remember, I'm a Christian... easily confused when attempting to measuring the standards of man. The differentiation of a crime, by means of categorizing them with subjective labels of motivation, as is the case with a murder of one through homicide verses the murder of another by means of a "hate crime", makes it impossible to prosecute one of these murderers to the fullest, or, both to equal measure. Now for me, murder, all murder of any person, is hate.
For me? All lives matter.
It is "Bull", however, it's a valid point.
Determination of what is, and is not, a hate crime, becomes subjective in it's very nature.
Don't Libertarians decline to see people as anything but individuals? Assaulting a person is a felony and should be prosecuted as such. You should see no difference between the “hate crime” of assaulting a gay man and the “love crime” of assaulting a straight man. Isn't your platform in opposition to all legislation that supports enhanced or reduced penalties for crimes based upon the bias or prejudice? In order to accept the concept of “hate crimes”, you must first uphold equal protection under the law — must see gays (and racial minorities and the handicapped and believers in any or no religion) as “other”. Libertarians reject that! You are full of gaps Joe. Think about it!
I might agree if it didn’t mean being completely blind of our country’s history and it’s continued racism. There are crazy disparities between the sentencing of whites and non whites. We are not there yet.
Meyers is right. Joe, you are completely blind of American history. America is the greatest country in the world. The racism that does exist is wrong, illegal, and minimal. All aspects of American society shun racism. The Military was, and is, one of the best things to help bring racism to an end. As long as their are criminals and exploiters of people there will be racism. Racism will continue on a minimal scale, not on a large scale, as you want it to be. Racism and bigotry are wrong Joe. It is wrong for you to cheat Trump supporters out of money in your store, Joe. That is bigotry and very much as bad as racism.
Racism is growing and trump is making this country fertile ground for hate.

Trump’s base includes the white nationalist terrorist movement. Following 9/11, would you trust a president who relies on Al Qaeda for votes? No difference with trump, except white nationalist terrorism happens more often.
So the Collusion turned out to be a nothing burger, and Joe is off on a newer, more exciting rabbit trail.
The guy used to crack me up, but as of late, he has me worried. The posts indicate instability.

Joe, you are so far off base you might as well be from Mars. Your statement is totally wrong. Why is it that you try to tell others how they think when you refuse sources laid in front of you? You rely on CNN & MSNBC to recharge your hatred. You were wrong about the collusion that you were so heart set upon. Then you were disappointed at the Mueller Report that was the biggest epic failure ever. Yet, in spite of repeated opposite outcomes to your wishful prognostication, you plod further into the morass of denial. Keep it up. President Trump is a better person than you will ever be. Liberalism always fails when the truth about it is revealed. Profane attacks on Trump elevate Trump and suppress you, Joe. You would cheat a Trump supporter to even the score.
Perhaps you "Racist" loving Americans need to look into what a black brain surgeon has to say about the ways of Donald Trump.
"I have an advantage of knowing the president very well, and he's not a racist and his comments are not racist," Ben Carson
Or we can listen to fools. Joe, are you a fool?
I’m still waiting on the promised healthcare reform, infrastructure plan, Israel-Palestine peace plan, and his big, beautiful, Mexican-financed, border wall; it’s gonna be a while until he gets around to stronger background checks...
Trump is working alone on everything JT, you realize that, right? A fake investigation that lasted over 2 years held back on accomplishments. CNN & MSNBC called Trump a traitor for 2 years and tried to destroy him every 15 minutes during that time. Haters plugged into this fake news and tried to sabotage everything, at all costs. Trump has been swimming against the current more than any other person in human history. Now, you, JT, whether you were a part of this or not, should at least be aware of it. Give him a fair chance. There are a couple of things that I am patiently waiting Antifa made into a terrorist org.
Oh my lord. How did any of those things prevent trump from carrying out his promises? You do know he had 2 years with a gop congress and senate right? As far as I can tell the only thing done was cut taxes fir the rich.
You reveal your extreme bias with your denial of reality. Keep it up. President Trump is sure to be re-elected If all President Trump did was “cut taxes ‘fir’ the rich.” Did you take advantage of a “Trumpie” today at work? Did you steal from a Republican? You were only trying to even up the score, right?
Just curious, Mike, do you believe Sandy Hook happened or that it was staged?
Come on fake Joe. The Sandy Hook killer was a nut job with a well established record of mental disturbance. He somehow convinced his lovely mother to buy him a gun(s) which he eventually used against her at home. Then he went to the school and took precious lives. Please do not act foolish Joe.
All hail Hillary Clinton. She would have solved all of our issues if she was elected. There would be no more people talking of racism, everyone would be rich, and everyone would be healthy. No one would commit crimes ever anymore. ALL HAIL Hillary!!
Wait until you see all the crap the Kenyan and his folks had going on. The most transparent, will go down in the history books as the most corrupt.
Be patient, the gathering of facts takes time. No rushing in and missing all the details Joe.
Unlike Democrats who frame people and convict them because they dislike them, Republicans seek a fair, thorough investigation and trial before a jury of peers. Proper justice takes time Joe. You should try it. Just be patient.
You know, that gal all the rightwing nuts are infatuated with, the gal they can't get out of their closed minds, the gal that millions of more citizens voted for than the orange draft dodger, you know the gal the bigots love to hate, you know, the gal all the trump fascists want to beat up on, why, well because shes a gal, always takes a certain kind of coward to want to beat up on a gal, but then, trump and his fascist supporters always go after gals, poor things, they deserve pity, they shake in their jackboots and slobber all over themselves when ever they see a gal do more than they ever will in their worthless lives.
Yes, that girl that was in politics for 60+ controversial years. That girl that trouble followed her around from the time she was an Attorney, Governor’s wife, President’s wife, Secretary of State, Presidential candidate, Clinton Global Initiative Founding Member, etc. that girl that earned the nickname “Crooked Hillary.”
You can ban any weapon you want, and create all the background checks you want, it wont stop sick people from doing stupid and illegal things
Joe you talk out your ass. Trump never promised to lock her up. He never said that. Should she be locked Up definitely!! For the crimes he committed she should be in jail right along side her husband Willy. She committed for more of a crime than what that young man dead that Trump pardoned for taking a few pictures of a submarine that he worked on that he also never shared with anybody. And for the other guy who commented on Hillary what the hell are you thinking?? And as far as the Kenyan I can’t wait until the inspector general reveals his full report. I’m sure it will be full of facts and not fiction like the Mueller report that Mueller never actually wrote. The Kenyan had a perfect opportunity to heal this nation as a man of color but he chose to divide it even further. I’m certain he is anti-American, anti-Christian and definitely a Muslim. The most transparent president see in history what a joke.
Maybe I'm imagining the chants of lock her up throughout the campaign. Anyway, he said right on the debate stage and several times on the campaign trail he would seek prosecution of both the Clintons. Lie.
Please excuse the spelling. I know how to spell unlike others on here. When I saved it it changed for some reason.
LB funny for you to criticize spelling of anyone. A fish on a bicycle would be more comfortable than you in a spelling bee. Your “grey matter” has difficulty processing Naziism vs. Capitalism. Maybe it is time to read a book. You can be as dumb as you want to be, but, when you insult others, I am going to stuff your words right back down your throat. Wise up. You lay off the meds and salvage what you have left.
Trump is such a moron. This day was supposed to be for the victims of El Paso and Dayton but instead he’s sending out his hate tweets and using victims as photo ops.
Joe you display fake outrage. It is the duty of the President of the United States to show support for the victims, victims families, first responders & residents of the regions affected. President Trump did a fine job in both El Paso & Dayton. In the face of unprecedented opposition and protesters and hateful politicians that used the occasion to abandon any semblance of dignity to grasp at political advancement, President Trump did a great job. Trump defended himself with tweets that shamed and nullified his opponents that displayed Trump Derangement Syndrome instead of compassionate reasoning. The liberals should be ashamed of themselves for trying to gain a political foothold out of a tragedy.
No he acted like a child. Look at the timeline of the day and the times of his tweets. After an emotional day meeting with victims and families the first thought in his empty head was to tweet a critique of shepherd smith. He is an idiot! Don’t take my word for it , take the word of his former chief of staff who called trump, and I quote “a f—king moron”

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