Watch: ‘Americans must denounce racism & white supremacy,’ says Trump on mass shootings

US President Donald Trump condemned “bigotry and hatred” following last weekend’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 29 people, adding that all Americans must denounce “racism, bigotry, and white supremacy”.

“These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”

Trump said he would act with “urgent resolve” to put an end to the rising gun violence.

He called for reforming mental health laws to identify mentally disturbed individuals so they get the appropriate treatment early on, stop the glorification of violence, including violent in violent video games, do a better job in detecting and acting on early warning signs for a potential mass shooting.

Trump said he had asked social media giants to develop tools that could detect people planning a mass shooting. He accused the internet and social media of “helping to radicalise people” and “spur heinous crimes”.

The president also said that “those judged as a risk to public safety should not be given access to guns”. To stop this, Trump said he would back “red flag” laws — which allows the temporary removal of firearms from a person — for gun owners who could present a risk to others.

He also said that he would propose legislation to ensure that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty.

On Monday morning, Trump called on lawmakers on Monday to pass stronger gun background checks after two mass shootings over the weekend killed 29 people.

While not blaming them directly, he alluded to the media as having a role in the tragedies, saying it “has contributed greatly to the anger and rage”.

On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people. Authorities said the mass shooting appeared to be motivated by racial hatred. Thirteen hours later, another gunman killed nine people in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Dozens were wounded in both attacks.

Trump did not directly address accusations by critics about his anti-immigrant and racially charged comments but escalated his accusations of “fake news” and media bias in a series of early morning tweets.

“The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” Trump said.

Trump appealed to both political parties and said victims should not “die in vain”. He called on lawmakers to pass legislation requiring stricter screenings for gun buyers.

“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!” Trump wrote.

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill calling for universal background checks for gun buyers, and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconvene the chamber in an emergency session to pass the legislation.

Even though Congress is on summer recess at the moment, Trump could invoke his power under the Constitution to call back Congress.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that the mass shootings where Mexican nationals were among the casualties, should lead to “reflections” about “indiscriminate” arms sales.

“We are very respectful of what other governments decide, but we think that these unfortunate events, which occurred in the U.S., should lead to reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of weapons,” Lopez Obrador said in his regular morning news conference.

Trump said he had sent condolences to the Mexican president for the death of the Mexican nationals in the El Paso shooting.

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