Saturday, 28 Mar 2020

Trump blames mental illness, video games and social media for mass shootings

Donald Trump has placed the blame of the US’ latest mass shootings on video games, mental illness and social media, after 29 people died in attacks in Texas and Ohio over the weekend.

They were part of a raft of new reforms Mr Trump announced at the White House, including government action with social media companies to detect “mass shooters” before they strike.

However, he once again stopped short of calling for gun reform and instead focused on mental health support, saying: “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger – not the gun”.

Doubling down on his suggestion that the attackers had mental health issues, the president called for new laws that better identify “mentally disturbed individuals”, adding that those people should “not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement.”

He called this weekend’s attacks in Texas and Ohio “barbaric”, saying they were “crimes against all humanity”, adding “we are sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed and the terror.”

Mr Trump also called for the US to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”

He also criticised the role of “gruesome video games”, adding that they are “common place” and “too easy” for young people to get a hold off, saying they “celebrate violence”.

The commander-in-chief also announced that he has directed the justice department to work with local and national law enforcement alongside social media companies to “develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike” – as it is believed the Texas gunman posted a “manifesto” online before carrying out the attack in an El Paso supermarket.

As well as preventative measures, President Trump also announced that he has asked for new laws so that “those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.”

Last month, Mr Trump re-instated the federal death penalty for the first time since 2003.

On Monday morning, the president tweeted, asking for Democrats and Republicans to work together towards a way to stop gun violence, and in his speech he said that the parties have “proven” they can work together on the issue, referencing the measures put in place after the Parkland shooting in 2018.

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