President Donald Trump on Monday condemned weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio as barbaric crimes “against all humanity” and called for bipartisan cooperation to respond to an epidemic of gun violence.
He said, he wants legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, but he provided scant details.
“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” Trump said Monday.
He spoke 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,” Trump 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.
Trump offered few specific solutions to address violence, and signaled he would oppose large-scale gun control efforts pushed by Democrats, saying, “hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”
Trump called for law enforcement and social media companies to do more to combat extremism and spot warning signs of violence online.
He also called for a reduction in the “glorification” of violence in American culture, laws to make it easier to commit those with mental illness and “red flag laws” to separate such individuals from firearms.
Trump also directed the Department of Justice to seek and prioritize the enforcement of the death penalty in cases of hate crimes and mass shootings.