After a weekend of carnage in two different states, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the nation. He condemned white supremacy and supporting “some” gun control measures. But for Americans, words are not enough, they want action.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.
Facing criticism over his handling of two mass shootings, President Trump took on an unfamiliar role: consoler in chief.
“Our nation has watched with rising horror and dread as one mass shooting has followed another over and over again, decade after decade. We cannot or allow ourselves to feel powerless. We can and will stop this evil contagion,” said U.S. President Donald Trump in a Monday morning address from the White House.
In an online manifesto, the alleged shooter in El Paso, Texas expressed hatred toward Hispanic immigrants. He said his positions “predate Trump and his campaign for president” but his writings echo Trump’s language- calling immigration a quote “invasion” and expressing a desire to quote “send them back.”
Trump is often accused of using racially-charged rhetoric, but in Monday’s speech, he struck a different tone.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” said Trump.
But that is too little, too late for critics of the president.
“He’s been emboldening white supremacists his entire presidency and his campaign. He’s been using language to demonize immigrants, to demonize the vulnerable his entire presidency,” Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate said.
To combat mass shootings, Trump wants social media companies to better identify early warning signs, and he linked the phenomenon to violent video games. He supports better screening to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Opponents said this simply isn’t enough.
“The answer is to make sure that these weapons of war, these semi-automatic weapons don’t get into the hands of people who go and use them on the street and that we do a renewed assault weapons ban,” said Julian Castro, Democratic Presidential Candidate
Trump tweeted he may be willing to support enhanced background checks in exchange for immigration legislation. There is no sign he will support any major gun control measures.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” said Trump