Monday, August 5, 2019

Last Call For Everyone But Me

As if it was ever going to happen, Donald Trump completely ignored his own complicity in last weekend's deadly mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton and instead blamed video games, mental illness, and the media.

President Donald Trump focused on internet radicalization and mental illness in an address to the country on Monday, characterizing the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend as a product of isolated evil mixed with mental illness.

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger—not the gun,” Trump said.

Apart from promises to direct resources to improving mental health resources for isolated and troubled people and identifying warning signs from potential mass shooters, Trump also called for an end to “the glorification of violence in our society,” with a focus on “gruesome and grisly” video games. “It is too easy for troubled youths to surround themselves with a culture of violence,” he said. “Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life.”

Trump also had two slightly more aggressive proposals. He suggested he would promote increased use of involuntary commitment in certain cases of mental illness, and he said he was looking to encourage the death penalty in mass shootings. “I am directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.”

Trump didn’t entirely dismiss the issue of firearms: He did propose national red flag laws—those that allow police or family members to request that law enforcement confiscate firearms from people who may prove a danger to themselves or others—in the speech. But he did not revisit his promise made online earlier that morning to support “strong” background checks.

The speech hit some traditional notes in moments of tragedy: Trump called for bipartisanship and sent condolences to the two American cities, as well as to the Mexican president, for the loss of lives. But he also fixated on the language of violence, with phrases such as “twisted monster,” “barbaric slaughters,” and “evil contagion.” He also called the violence “domestic terrorism,” though he fell short of linking the terrorism to race.

He did mention the white supremacist manifesto written by the El Paso shooting suspect that echoed some of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration. In the four-page screed, the suspected gunman confessed an intense hatred toward Hispanics and immigrants, whom he blamed for “cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.” In his remarks Monday, Trump described the El Paso gunman as being “consumed by racist hate” and called for the country to condemn racism and bigotry. “Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul,” he said.

As a strange conclusion to his speech, Trump offered his condolences to the victims’ families, and, confusingly, wished that “God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo”—a city 150 miles away from Dayton.

So Trump wants an end to violent video games, and oh yes, it's time to lock up the mentally ill, because that's never been a problem in US history.

Meanwhile, he just keeps on going naming new targets for his brownshirts to gun down.

He just keeps getting worse.

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