Texas and Ohio assassinations reemerge themes of white supremacy and gun control

US mass shootings: ‘Are deaths worth the freedom of gun laws?’ – BBC Newsnight

Texas and Ohio assassinations reemerge themes of white supremacy and gun control

Murders in Texas and Ohio have sharpened the topic again &# 171; white supremacy&# 187; and gun control

Democrats try to link spike in violence to Trump’s rhetoric, White House names assassins &# 171; sick people&# 187;

WASHINGTON – Two massacres in Texas and Ohio over the weekend brought to the forefront of public debate two of the most pressing issues in US domestic politics – the rise of aggressive white supremacists and gun control. The incidents took place amid preparations for the 2020 election campaign, which could be highly confrontational.

Two incidents, which killed 29 people and injured at least 53, created a clear political crisis for the Trump administration and its allies in Congress..

The first massacre occurred Saturday in El Paso, Texas. The shooting was opened by a 21-year-old white man who is believed to have issued a clearly racist manifesto echoing President Donald Trump’s frequent claims that Hispanic immigrants from Mexico and Central America are “invading” the United States. After his surrender to the authorities, he told the police that he was going to kill as many “Mexicans” as possible. He killed 20 people and injured 27 more..

The second massacre was committed in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday night, by a 24-year-old white man who legally acquired a military-grade semi-automatic rifle fitted with two 100-round drum magazines. With her help, he killed or injured more than 35 people in less than half a minute..

Democrats are proposing to prohibit individuals from amassing such firepower, but President Trump and Republican lawmakers have strongly opposed such regulation..

The massacre in the Texas border town of El Paso comes amid a clear rise in white supremacist violence. In July, FBI Director Christopher Ray told Congress that “most of the domestic terrorism we investigate is motivated by some version of what might be called white supremacist violence.”.

The killer’s manifesto

In 2018, domestic terrorists in the United States killed at least 50 people. Such data are provided by the Center for Extremism of the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks such killings. In each case, the killer had a recognizable connection to the right-wing political movement, the center claims..

In a manifesto attributed to the El Paso assassin, the author makes it clear that his grudge against the Hispanic population began even before Trump came to power in 2016. However, some of the wording of the document unmistakably guesses the presidential election rhetoric..

Like Trump, the killer called the immigrants “invaders.” At recent political events, Trump urged minority representatives in Congress to “return” to their places of origin. In his manifesto, the killer stated that “patriotic Americans” must provide immigrants with “the right incentive” to return to their homeland..

It is noteworthy that at one of the pre-election rallies in May, speaking out against illegal immigrants, the president asked the audience: “How can you stop these people?” Then one of the president’s supporters shouted: “Shoot them!” Trump laughed as the crowd buzzed in approval.

On Sunday, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney appeared on several television stations to defend the president from a chorus of accusers, mainly potential Democratic presidential candidates, who claim Trump’s rhetoric is fanning the flames of aggressive white racism..

“He was a sick man. This man in Dayton is sick, ”Mulvaney said on ABC News. – None of the politicians are to blame for this. In this case, the person who pulled the trigger is responsible. Society needs to figure out how to make sure that there are fewer such people, and not try to find out who needs to be blamed before the next elections. “.

The Mulvaney then attempted to question Trump’s apparent reluctance to see white supremacy as a serious problem. After a gunman ranting about white supremacy killed dozens of Muslims in New Zealand earlier this year, Trump was asked if he saw the ideology as a global threat. Then he replied: “Actually, no. I think this is a small group of people who have very serious problems. “.

“I don’t think it’s fair to sit here and say that he doesn’t see white nationalism as bad for the country,” Mulvaney said. – These are sick people. If you are a supporter of the idea of ​​white supremacy, then you are not all right with your head. “.

But Democrats, especially presidential candidates, were not satisfied with these statements..

Speaking on Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Senator Corey Booker said Trump “has a special responsibility” for the upsurge in violence by white nationalists. “I think what you sow is what you reap, and he sows the seeds of hatred in this country, and the harvest of hate violence we now see is his responsibility,” Booker said..

“It is complicity in the president’s hatred that undermines the kindness and decency of Americans,” the senator added..

Former San Antonio Mayor Juan Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development Secretary in the Obama administration, said Sunday that Trump was not directly responsible for the El Paso shooting. However, according to him, the president’s anti-immigrant rhetoric contributed to the surge of white nationalism in the United States..

Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, who considers El Paso his home, may have been most active in linking the massacre in the city with Trump. Speaking on CNN, he replied in the affirmative when asked if he considers the president to be a white supremacist..

“What did he say both as a candidate and then as the President of the United States? This is undeniably true, “he said..

“Today we have a problem with white nationalist terrorism in the United States of America,” O’Rourke added. “These are white people, driven by fear that is whipped up and spread by the president.”.

“There is no place for hatred in our country”

For his part, Trump did not show much public activity on Sunday. Returning to the White House from one of its golf resorts, the president made a short statement to the media..

“There is no place for hatred in our country, and we will take care of it,” he said..

Democrats have called on Republicans in the past to soften their stance on gun control initiatives under consideration in Congress, and as new information about the Daytona killings has become even louder in demanding restrictions on access to firearms..

Their complaints were directed – sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly – against Republican lawmakers, who are vigorously opposing efforts to tighten access to weapons. Most recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on a popular bill to expand mandatory checks on prospective firearms buyers, and a more controversial proposal to ban weapons like the one used in the El Paso and Dayton attacks..

Senator Elizabeth Warren urged McConnell via Twitter to “end Senate vacation to vote on a bill to tackle the epidemic of gun violence.”.

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South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg tied the Ohio and Texas incidents together, stating, “America is under attack by white nationalist homegrown terrorism. We need to discuss and take action on two things in this country. First, we are the only country in the world where there are more weapons than people. We can abide by the Second Amendment [to the US Constitution] without letting it become a death sentence for thousands of Americans. Secondly, white nationalism is evil “.

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