Former President Barack Obama penned a long message he shared on Twitter Monday, August 5, in reaction to the two mass shootings the United States experienced this past weekend that sent shock waves not just nationally but around the world. Obama took to the social media platform to share an image of his message, in which he states that “no other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do,” after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, claimed almost 30 lives within just 14 hours.
In the tweet, Obama argued that, while the situation is dire, the country is not without hope. The former president stated that the country can take measures to help curb the problem by approving tougher guns laws. Even though stricter legislation might not prevent all mass shootings from taking place, laws can help some lives.
“Every time this happens, we’re told that tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders; that they won’t stop every deranged individual from getting a weapon and shooting innocent people in public places. But the evidence shows that they can stop some killings. They can save families from heartbreak. We are not helpless here,” he wrote.
Obama further argued that, while the motivations behind these attacks have not been confirmed by authorities, at least one of them comes amid a “dangerous trend” that focuses on racism.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 5, 2019
The shooting in the Texas city that left 20 dead and dozen others injured appears to fit a sad portrait.
“[T]roubled individuals who embrace racist and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy,” he wrote.
On Saturday morning, a man armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle opened fire at a busy Walmart in El Paso as people crowded the aisles for back-to-school items, as CNN reported. The suspect, who has been identified as Patrick Crusius, has been reportedly linked to a manifesto shared online which states that Texas is being invaded by Latinos. The online post argues that this trend means that the state will become a Democratic stronghold in the near future, with dire consequences for the country.
The second mass shooting took place at 1 a.m. on Sunday, just hours after the tragedy in El Paso. According to CNN, the suspect, Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook, opened fire outside a popular bar on East 5th Street wearing a mask, body armor, and hearing protection – killing nine. Police responded within a minute, possibly preventing many more fatalities.