Monday, August 05, 2019

Trump, Warren and Gun Control

Maybe politicians should stop blaming opponents for the actions of third parties.  Wall St. Journal, August 5

“2020 Democrats lay blame on Trump’s rhetoric for shootings,” reports the Associated Press. Will some 2020 Democrats also end up blaming themselves as more evidence is collected about the shooters in El Paso and Dayton? Strange as it may seem for people not in the business of politics or punditry, it’s popular in these fields to blame ideological rivals for the violent acts of third parties.

In remarks today at the White House, President Donald Trump appropriately responded to the violence with expressions of grief, condolences to the families of victims, and thanks for the brave, rapid and accurate response of police officers. Commenting specifically on the violence in Texas, Mr. Trump said:

The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism — whatever they need.

“Trump Condemns White Supremacy but Doesn’t Propose Gun Laws After Shootings,” responded a New York Times headline. The article by Michael Crowley and Maggie Haberman says that “Mr. Trump stopped well short of endorsing the kind of broad gun control measures that activists and Democrats have sought for years, instead falling back on longtime Republican remedies, such as stronger action to address mental illness, violence in the media and violent video games.”

To say the very least, it would be premature in the hours after the shooting for anyone to assert that mental illness was a factor in the violence. It should also be noted that Mr. Trump was hardly rejecting other ideas to address gun violence. After describing his own priorities, he said:

These are just a few of the areas of cooperation that we can pursue. I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference.”

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