In the wake of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, shootings, Fox News reports that President Donald Trump condemned white supremacy, racism, and bigotry during his remarks from the White House. Per The Inquisitr, the manifesto of El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius revealed that he was carrying out the shooting in response to a purported Hispanic invasion of Texas and echoed Trump’s language on immigration.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said as he stood beside Vice President Pence. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hatred has no place in America.”
During his speech, Trump proposed five concrete steps to address these problems: identification of early warning signs with the help of social media companies, stopping the glorification of violence through video games, reforming mental health policies, preventing firearm access for those that pose a grave risk, and asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to propose legislation that ensures the death penalty for those who commit hate crimes and mass murders.
Not everyone agrees with Trump’s proposals. The Hill reports that the American Psychological Association (APA) is warning the president against blaming the shootings on mental illness, suggesting that it will increase the stigma against people struggling with mental health disorders.
The APA said in a statement that most people with mental illness are not violent. The organization also noted that people with mental illness are “far more likely” to be victims of violent crime than the ones perpetrating violence against others.
“Rhetoric that argues otherwise will further stigmatize and interfere with people accessing needed treatment. Individuals can also be emboldened to act violently by the public discourse and divisive rhetoric,” the organization added.
.@realDonaldTrump blasted "white supremacy"& called for reforms in mental health &gun laws.
He proposed "red flag laws" to take guns from those deemed a public risk; involuntary confinement; expedited death penalty; &"cultural"changes after #massshootingshttps://t.co/YAaCwjtEAw
— Brooke Singman (@brookefoxnews) August 5, 2019
Per The Inquisitr, Trump’s proposal to crack down on violent video games that “celebrate violence” has drawn support from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. But others point to the fact that no significant link has been made between video games and real-life violence. In fact, Buzzfeed News reports that research suggests violent crime rates actually drop following the release of a popular video game. Not only that, but the same inverse correlation is observed for violent movies and TV shows.
As for firearms, Trump doesn’t appear to be close to siding with Democrats that want stricter gun control laws. In the past, Trump has called for a strengthening of the federal background check system. In February, the House approved bipartisan legislation requiring federal background checks for any gun sale and transfer. In addition, the House passed legislation to allow 10 days for review of background checks on firearms sales.