Published: Thu, August 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump suggests tying gun measures to immigration after shooting that targets immigrants

Trump suggests tying gun measures to immigration after shooting that targets immigrants

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before departing the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base and onto his Bedminster, N.J., golf club.

Former President Barack Obama said Monday, in his first public statement since a pair of mass shootings in Texas and OH, that Americans must "soundly reject language" from any leader who "feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments".

His visit was preceded by strong criticism over his use of divisive rhetoric that is oftentimes nativist and alarmist.

President Trump will leave the White House to visit Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas where 31 people were killed in mass shootings over the weekend.

On Aug. 7, Trump defended his rhetoric. "They're trying to make political points", the president told reporters.

Since the shootings, Trump has said that he would support new background check legislation and "red flag laws", which would enable authorities to seize firearms from people who are thought to be unsafe, but he dismissed calls for restrictions on assault rifles, saying there is "no political appetite for that at the moment".

"I have publicly said he has a responsibility to acknowledge the power of his words, apologize for them, and take them back because they are still hanging over us", Escobar said.

Multiple protests are planned in both cities, and Democratic presidential candidates continue to criticise him, including former Beto O'Rourke, who will hold a counter-rally in his hometown of El Paso during the president's visit.

"What do you think", he said.

"It's these questions that you know the answers to", added O'Rourke.

This followed the emergence of an anti-immigrant screed published by the alleged Texas shooter that eerily echoed some of Trump's own campaign speech statements about an "invasion" across the US-Mexican border. "I want you to know we're with you all the way", she quoted Trump as saying at the hospital. "Connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country. He's not tolerating racism, he's inciting racism and violence in this country".

Obama's statement, released after Trump's remarks, said no other nation "tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do".

U.S. authorities said on Sunday that they are treating their investigation into El Paso massacre that left at least 20 people dead as "domestic terrorism" and a "hate crime".

The suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, was taken into custody after 20 people were killed and 26 others were injured during the attack.

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