We Need More Than Lip Service from Our President to Stop the Hate and Gun Violence that is Plaguing Our Nation -- and that He, Himself, So Often Incites
“This morning, following a weekend that saw more than 80 people gunned down in two horrifying mass shootings, President Trump offered words that fell far short of what the nation needs to address the crisis we face -- a crisis he himself has contributed to creating.
“If President Trump is serious about stopping the carnage, he would take action by demanding that the U.S. Senate return from its recess and pass the gun prevention measures the U.S. House has already passed, and that both chambers ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition immediately. He would not pair the strong legislative response to gun violence with racist and destructive anti-immigration laws, as he suggested on Twitter this morning.
“He would stop amplifying white supremacists and white nationalists through re-tweets to his millions of followers, as he has done over and over.
“He would unequivocally repudiate and discontinue the hate speech that defined his campaign and defines his presidency. That means apologizing for his attacks on immigrants of color and for terrorizing entire communities, for blaming Democrats for the problems facing some of our cities, and for viciously attacking lawmakers of color. His hate speech is causing hate crime: Hate crimes jumped by 226 percent in counties where his rallies were held.
“He would demand that every lawmaker reject the NRA, and its contributions, which for generations have blocked the solutions that would make families in our country safer.
“He would take down the horrifying Facebook ads his campaign has run – more than 2,200 times – that shamefully and falsely refer to migrants and asylum-seekers as 'invaders' to our country. Those ads played a role in spreading false information and inciting violence. This dangerous 'invaders' messaging was mirrored in the El Paso shooter’s manifesto.
“President Trump has been our nation’s inciter- and divider-in-chief. America needs a moral leader who fully rejects racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, and white nationalism in all their forms and in both words and actions. President Trump has not been the leader we need.”
-- Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising
“It took mass shootings and brutal murders in two American cities to get President Trump to finally address this problem -- but the solutions he offered are not what our nation needs. In fact, what he failed to say spoke volumes. The President failed to embrace meaningful gun control measures, or to acknowledge his own role in inflaming tensions in this country.
“Blaming the Internet, enhancing the death penalty, and blaming the media, as the President did in a tweet this morning, will not stop the carnage. Nor does research support a link between video games and gun violence.
“If President Trump is serious about stopping the epidemic of gun violence and hate in America, he will have to dramatically change his rhetoric, his policies and his behavior. We don’t need more of his inflammatory hate speech and hate tweets. We need bans on military-grade assault rifles and high-capacity magazines; universal background checks on firearm sales; strong federal anti-gun trafficking laws with stiff penalties to discourage straw purchasing; investments in evidence-based community anti-violence programs proven to reduce the risk of gun violence in highly impacted communities; rollbacks of Stand Your Ground Laws; closing loopholes that allow stalkers and abusive dating partners to access firearms; extreme risk protection orders; and other measures to improve community safety.
”Donald Trump became president by exploiting racial tensions and insecurities, giving his supporters permission to indulge in and normalize their worst biases and darkest prejudices. We are paying the price now. He bears responsibility and must fight for the remedies that will bring real solutions and make our country safer.”
-- Statement of Gloria Pan, National Director for Gun Safety, MomsRising