Trump says US should 'criticise white supremacy' but blames video games for mass shootings

Trump says US should 'criticise white supremacy' but blames video games for mass shootings
A deadly mass shooting this weekend has been blamed on a white supremacist.
3 min read
05 August, 2019
Trump has criticised video games and 'fake news' [Getty]
President Donald Trump condemned "racism" and "white supremacy" on Twitter on Monday following a spate of mass shootings in the US over the weekend, but also blamed video games and mental illness for the massacres.

"Our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy," he said, adding that he had directed the FBI to use all resources to combat "hate crimes and domestic terrorism."

In El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, was markedly different from his usual line minimising the dangers of white supremacist attacks.

This followed the emergence of an anti-immigrant so-called manifesto published by the alleged Texas shooter that echoed some of Trump's own campaign speech statements about an "invasion" across the US-Mexican border.

The man shot and killed 21 people as they shopped at a crowded Walmart in El Paso on Saturday morning, while nine more people were shot dead outside a bar in a popular nightlife district in Dayton just 13 hours later.

A 21-year-old from Allen, a suburb of Dallas, surrendered to police outside the El Paso Walmart. US media identified him as Patrick Crusius, who is white.

Crusius said the attack was "a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas".

But he also did not propose new legislation to control the powerful weapons that have been frequently used in mass shootings.

Earlier he tweeted that there could be increased background checks at the time of gun purchases, but he did not mention this in his speech.

He also left out another suggestion tweeted earlier in the day that any gun law reform should be linked to changes in immigration laws.

Trump did say he supported what are known as "red flag" laws allowing the authorities to confiscate weapons from people ruled to present grave risks.

He also focused on "mental illness", which he suggested was the main problem behind the spate of rampages by heavily armed killers in schools, businesses, and stores.

"We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement," Trump said.

"Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun."

The president blamed video games for "radicalising" young Americans.

"We must stop the glorification of violence in our society," Trump said.

"This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace."

Trump also said those found guilty of mass shootings should face the death penalty and "this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay".