President Donald Trump accused social media and the internet of encouraging “disturbed minds” to carry out mass shootings and called for “quick” executions for their perpetrators. He also condemned ‘white supremacy’.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” the president said in the aftermath of the tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which claimed 29 lives. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
Speaking at the White House on Monday morning, President Trump said his administration would work with social media platforms to help identify “red flags” that might suggest an individual is dangerous, or considering an act of violence, and called upon video game developers to combat a culture that “celebrates violence.”
The perpetrator of the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year exhibited “many red flags,” President Trump said, yet “nobody took decisive action; nobody did anything. Why not?” He called for quicker action in the future, even suggesting “involuntary confinement, when necessary.”
The president also noted that he had instructed the Department of Justice to begin work on a proposal that would streamline capital punishment for mass shooters and those who commit hate crimes, removing “years of needless delay” from the process, though he did not give further details.
“Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague,” President Trump said, calling on lawmakers to work together toward a solution.
In addition to the DOJ proposal, the president said measures must be taken to help the mentally ill seek treatment, and to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands, though he added “mental illness and hate pulls the trigger, not the gun.”
Over the weekend, two lethal shootings left a combined 29 people dead. In El Paso, Texas, a gunman entered a shopping center on Saturday and opened fire on customers, killing at least 21 and injuring two dozen, while a similar incident unfolded outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday. Nine, including the gunman’s own sister, were killed in the second attack, with some 27 wounded.
Though the Dayton perpetrator’s motive remains unknown, the El Paso shooter left behind a racially-charged political manifesto suggesting he was a white nationalist.