This weekend, Texas and Ohio suffered 2 devasting mass shootings, which claimed the lives of dozens of innocent people.
On the morning of August 3rd, twenty-one-year-old Patrick Crusius entered a crowded Walmart store in Texas with an assault-style rifle and opened fire in what authorities are calling an act of domestic terrorism. Just thirteen hours later, a gunman in Dayton, Ohio, who was wearing body armor and carrying one-hundred-bullet magazines to arm his rifle, killed 9 people but was later shot by police within thirty seconds of opening fire.
Now, Trump has formally spoken out for the first time since the tragedy-ridden weekend, demanding the death penalty for all mass murder hate crimes as well as condemning "white supremacy."
However, the president has failed to mention any sort of gun control measures and, instead, cited a number of other reasons for these horrific acts of terror other than the, well, easy access to guns.
Last weekend, Texas and Ohio were hit with devasting mass shootings.
via: PAOn August 3, a gunman identified now as the twenty-one-year-old, white supremacist, Patrick Crusius, marched into the superstore at the Cielo Vista Mall in Texas armed with an assault-style rifle and opened fire.
His evil attack has cost at least twenty innocent people their lives.
via: GettyBy the time that the police arrived on the scene, at least twenty people had already been killed, and another twenty-six were severely injured. Crusius surrendered himself to the police and now remains in custody.
His massacre has been treated as a terrorist attack against the Hispanic community.
via: GettyIn El Paso’s population, roughly 680,000 are of Hispanic descent. Shortly before his sickening attack, Crusius is believed to have written and posted an online document calling his massacre a response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas." The document was posted on 8chan, an online message board frequently used by the far right, and, in it, he described a “cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion," alluding to Hispanic people in the U.S.
Just thirteen hours later, in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman opened fire in the city’s popular downtown area.
via: GettyAt around 1 am yesterday, twenty-four-year-old Connor Betts, armed with a high-powered rifle, opened fire and killed 9 people, including his own sister, Megan, before being shot dead by police within thirty seconds of his rampage.
Similar to the scenes in El Paso, Texas, a vigil was held for the victims, although angry citizens interrupted the event...
via: GettyHundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to the victims, with many leaving bouquets in front of the bars or tucking flowers into bullet holes. At the event, a speech by Ohio’s Republican governor was interrupted with shouts and chants of “make a change." As the governor, Mike DeWine, told the crowd that the families’ pain could not be erased, several heartbroken people started chanting: “Do something!"
But Trump has faced criticism for how he's responded to the back-to-back massacres.Before formally speaking out about the tragedies, the president tweeted this, along with a few other brief tweets detailing how he had "authorized the lowering of the flags to half-staff at all Federal Government buildings in honor of the victims of the tragedies," and how he and Melania send their "heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas."
Many people slammed him for his tweets.
And it seems like a lot of other people felt the same way.
@realDonaldTrump What good are your "heartfelt thoughts & prayers" when you strive 2 do nothing to control the obvi… https://t.co/mvOgU4u25u— KJ💙♿ Pithy Chick💙🎉 (@KJ💙♿ Pithy Chick💙🎉)1565007080.0
But, today, Trump formally addressed the 2 tragedies.
During his speech, he called on the United States to condemn racism and white supremacy as “one voice" after the weekend's devasting events.
"Today I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively," the president said.
But he also found many things to blame the massacres on, other than, well, guns...
via: GettyOne of which was the usual scapegoat, mental illness. “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun," he said. He had also tweeted about mental illness being the main component of the shootings, writing: "This is also a mental illness problem, if you look at both these cases … both these people are very ill." As of yet, there has been no confirmation that either shooter had mental health issues.
He also managed to tie immigration to the attacks.We have no idea how he is connecting the 2 issues, but before his formal address, the president tweeted about "desperately needing immigration reform," despite both shootings being carried out by U.S citizens.
He claimed that video games had a part to play too.
and now Trump himself is blaming 'gruesome and grizzly' video games and the internet for mass shooting violence tha… https://t.co/t2THKMcUer— Rod Breslau (@Rod Breslau)1565020534.0
But no mention of guns?
via: GettyWhether it's the "fake news" media, immigrants, video games, or social media, Trump seems to cite a lot of reasons for the mass shootings, without ever blaming the weapon itself. After all, like Rihanna said, in a country where it's easier to get a gun than a visa, maybe its time to actually make a change.
In fact, many people think that Trump is to blame for the attacks.Many critics have argued that the roots of the two massacres lie in the president’s language about immigrants and Mexicans in particular and his opposition to gun control.
How many innocent people need to die before gun legislation changes?
via: GettyAccording to a gun violence research group, there have been 251 mass shootings in our country this year alone, meaning the number of so far in 2019 has outpaced the number of days this year.
And, quite frankly, people want action.
via: GettyIn light of the massacres and, of course, the president's reaction, people have taken to the streets to protest gun violence, once again.
Presidential candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar, pointed out that mental illness is not the issue at hand.
via: GettyThe presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said: “Mental illness rates [in the US] are similar to other countries across the world but we have these shootings in extraordinary numbers, and that’s because of the weapons [available]." It doesn't seem like rocket science.
And, of course, people flocked to social media to slam the president following his controversial speech.
@realDonaldTrump They are just doing the work you told them to do via your tweets and "press conferences." They sa… https://t.co/lm2F5ziI4s— Brian J Wrights (@Brian J Wrights)1565008501.0
Many also branded his speech "insincere."
I don’t know who needs to hear this but condemning white supremacy in a speech isn’t proof Donald Trump has changed… https://t.co/ALmQwkmNBt— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill)1565022739.0
Now, Ohio and Texas are left mourning over the weekend's heartbreaking attacks.
via: GettyAs the victims of the attacks are slowly being identified, it has come to light that, among the deceased in Texas, are parents, Jordan and Andre Anchondo, who were both shot as they shielded their 2-month-old baby. The couple gave their lives to protect their child and have heartbreakingly left behind 3 children.