ALL NEWS

Pres. Trump says he wants stronger gun checks but gives little details

Aug 5, 2019, 8:52 AM | Updated: 11:59 am
mass shooting mental illness el paso dayton...
President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday condemned weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio as “barbaric” attacks and crimes “against all humanity” as he called for bipartisan cooperation to strengthen the nation’s gun laws.

Mr. Trump said he wants legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, but he provided scant details and has reneged on previous promises after mass shootings.

“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” the president said Monday.

Mr. Trump spoke Monday from the White House about shootings that left 29 dead and dozens wounded. He suggested early on Twitter that a background check bill could be paired with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system.

But he didn’t say how or why he was connecting the issues. Both shooting suspects were U.S. citizens, and federal officials are investigating anti-immigrant bias as a potential motive for the El Paso, Texas, massacre.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” he said, adding that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.

The president has frequently sought to tie his immigration priorities — a border wall and transforming the legal immigration system to one that prioritizes merit over familial ties — to legislation around which he perceives momentum to be building.

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump tried to assure Americans he was dealing with the problem and defended his administration in light of criticism following the latest in a string of mass shootings.

“We have done much more than most administrations,” he said, without elaboration. “We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done.”

Congress has proven unable to pass substantial gun violence legislation this session, despite the frequency of mass shootings, in large part because of resistance from Republicans, particularly in the GOP-controlled Senate. That political dynamic seems difficult to change.

And the president himself has reneged on previous pledges to strengthen gun laws.

After other mass shootings, he called for strengthening the federal background check system, and in 2018 he signed legislation to increase federal agency data sharing into the system. But he has resisted Democratic calls to toughen other gun control laws.

In February, the House approved bipartisan legislation to require federal background checks for all gun sales and transfers and approved legislation to allow a review period of up to 10 days for background checks on firearms purchases. The White House threatened a presidential veto if those measures passed Congress.

At a February meeting with survivors and family members of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting in which 17 people died, Mr. Trump promised to be “very strong on background checks.”

The president claimed he would stand up to the gun lobby and finally get results in quelling gun violence. But he later retreated, expressing support for modest changes to the federal background check system and for arming teachers.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that if Mr. Trump is serious about strengthening background checks, he should demand Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “put the bipartisan, House-passed universal background checks bill up for a vote.”

In the El Paso attack, investigators are focusing on whether it was a hate crime after the emergence of a racist, anti-immigrant screed that was posted online shortly beforehand. Detectives sought to determine if it was written by the man who was arrested. The border city has figured prominently in the immigration debate and is home to 680,000 people, most of them Latino.

On Twitter Monday, the president seemed to deflect from scrutiny over the manifesto, which had language mirroring some of his own. As Democrats have called on him to tone down his rhetoric, Mr. Trump blamed the news media for the nation’s woes.

“Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” he claimed

As the president weighs trips to the affected communities — the Federal Aviation Administration advised pilots of a presidential visit Wednesday to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio — local lawmakers signaled opposition to his presence.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat who represents El Paso, said Mr. Trump is “not welcome” to visit the city.

In recent weeks, the president has issued racist tweets about four women of color who serve in Congress, and in rallies has spoken of an “invasion” at the southern border. His reelection strategy has placed racial animus at the forefront in an effort that his aides say is designed to activate his base of conservative voters, an approach not seen by an American president in the modern era.

Mr. Trump also has been widely criticized for offering a false equivalency when discussing racial violence, notably when he said there were “very fine people, on both sides,” after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of an anti-racism demonstrator.

On gun control, a majority of Americans have consistently said they support stronger laws, but proposals have stalled repeatedly in Congress, a marked contrast to some countries that have acted swiftly after a mass shooting.

In March, a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found a majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws. The survey was conducted both before and after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand. It found that 67 percent of Americans support making US gun laws stricter, while 22 percent say they should be left as they are and 10 percent think they should be made less strict.

Less than a week after the mosque shootings, New Zealand moved to ban “military-style” semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines; similarly, after a mass shooting in 1996, Australia enacted sweeping gun bans within two weeks.

The poll suggested many Americans would support similar measures, but there’s a wide gulf between Democrats and Republicans on banning specific types of guns. Overall, 6 in 10 Americans support a ban on AR-15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons. Roughly 8 in 10 Democrats, but just about 4 in 10 Republicans, support that policy.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
18 hours ago
FrontRunner...
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
18 hours ago
Lehi City officials have closed a portion of westbound 1500 North to repair a large sinkhole. On it...
Simone Seikaly

Large sinkhole shuts down portion of westbound 1500 North in Lehi

Lehi City officials said the sinkhole formed on 1500 North due to a water leak.
18 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Lindsay Aerts

Utah House votes to pass transgender-related surgery ban

The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses the treatment of hormone blockers.
18 hours ago
Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Eric Levenson, Melissa Alonso and Chris Boyette, CNN

Five former Memphis police officers indicted on charges of murder

The former officers were each charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault among other charges.
18 hours ago
Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, l...
Simone Seikaly

Suspects in custody, lockdown lifted after shots fired at Taylorsville High

Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, leading to lockdown and lockout procedures.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Pres. Trump says he wants stronger gun checks but gives little details