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Monday, August 5, 2019
AGAIN: 'Hate Has No Place In America!'
On Saturday morning, a wicked person opened fire on innocent families shopping at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Precious children were among the victims. The following day, another act of evil took place on a crowded street in Dayton, Ohio. These two horrible incidents left more than 80 people killed or wounded.
Earlier today, President Donald J. Trump addressed the nation from the White House:
The First Lady and I join all Americans in praying and grieving for the victims, their families, and the survivors. We will stand by their side forever. We will never forget. These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation, and a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands, and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fallen. We are a loving nation, and our children are entitled to grow up in a just, peaceful and loving society. Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief. We ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer. And we vow to act with urgent resolve.
Hate, in any of its forms, has no place in the United States of America. In the two decades since Columbine, our nation has witnessed one mass shooting after another. It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of such violence. America can and will rise to the challenge.
By taking action, “we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain,” President Trump said. He laid out those steps today:
First, Americans must come together in condemning racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” the President said.
Second, law enforcement must have all the tools it needs to investigate and disrupt any hate crimes or acts of domestic terrorism. President Trump has asked the FBI to identify any additional resources needed to confront these threats. Part of that effort includes fighting radicalization online.
Third, America must do a better job of identifying—and acting upon—early warning signs of violence. Today, President Trump directed the Department of Justice to partner with government agencies and the private sector, including social media companies, to develop tools to detect mass shooters before they act.
Fourth, we must stop the glorification of violence across society. It’s far too easy for troubled individuals to surround themselves with gruesome, grisly images on a daily basis. “Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life,” the President said.
Fifth, our country must reform its mental health laws to better identify, treat, and—if necessary—confine individuals who may commit acts of violence.
Last but not least, we must ensure that those posing a great risk to public safety do not have access to firearms—and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken away through rapid due process. The President has called for “red flag laws,” also known as extreme risk protection orders, to keep weapons away from dangerous people.
These steps build upon important work that President Trump has already done to address the scourge of mass violence in America. Last year, Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass the STOP School Violence and Fix NICS Acts, providing grants to improve school safety and strengthening critical background checks for firearms. On the President’s orders, the Department of Justice also banned the sale of bump stocks.
Today, President Trump also called upon DOJ to propose legislation that ensures anyone who commits hate crimes and mass murder will face the death penalty.
“Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside . . . and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love,” the President said. “Our future is in our control.”