Trump condemns 'racist hate' of El Paso gunman

Mr Trump used Twitter to call for tighter gun checks

Monday, August 5, 2019

Donald Trump has said the US must "condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy" after stating the gunman responsible for killing 20 people in Texas was consumed by "racist hate".

His statement comes just after he called for stronger background checks on gun users following the two mass shootings that took place over the weekend - 20 were killed in El Paso, Texas and nine shot dead in Dayton, Ohio.

The US President made the comment on Twitter and did not elaborate on details, except to say the legislation could tie in with “desperately needed” immigration reform.

The tweet read: “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them.

“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”

The President has previously suggested improving background checks when he tweeted in March 2018: “Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House.”

A gun control bill that includes fixes to the nation's firearm background check system was passed by the Democrat-led House but has not got through the Republican-controlled Senate.

The shootings came just days after the president’s 2020 election campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, in which he said his government will defend the right to keep and bear arms.

After his promise was met with applause, he continued: “And just remember, with the Democrats there is no second amendment. You can forget about 'keep and bear arms', you can forget it.”

The man arrested on suspicion of the attack in Texas has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius from Dallas, a 10-hour drive from the city.

In Ohio, police shot dead Connor Betts, 24, after he opened fire and killed nine people – including his 22-year-old sister.

In March, a poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research found a majority of Americans favour stricter gun laws.

The survey was conducted both before and after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand.

It found that 67% of Americans support making US gun laws stricter, while 22% say they should be left as they are and 10% think they should be made less strict.

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