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Mass shootings renew gun debate

by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/05/19, 12:54 pm

Following mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that resulted in the deaths of 31 people, President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass background check laws for gun buyers. Democratic lawmakers want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel the August recess so that lawmakers can return to Washington to work on gun control legislation.

What other gun law changes does the president support? In a speech at the White House Monday morning, Trump backed “red flag” laws that allow family members, employers, or other individuals to file a request to temporarily confiscate firearms from a suspected dangerous person. The president also said the Department of Justice should seek the death penalty for those who commit hate crimes and mass shootings. “In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy,” he said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”

Were the weekend shootings hate crimes? Police are investigating whether the El Paso shooting suspect, who is in custody, wrote a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto posted online. 8chan, the forum where the author posted the manifesto, suffered outages Monday after its cybersecurity provider cut off its services. Less is known about the Dayton shooter’s motives. Police quickly shot and killed him after the attack began.

Dig deeper: FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a Senate hearing in July that the agency had made 100 arrests related to domestic terrorism since October. He noted that white supremacist violence motivated the majority of them. Read WORLD Magazine reporter Sophia Lee’s feature on former extremists who managed to walk away from a life of hate and violence—but have done so at a price.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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