Barack Obama Calls For All-Out Gun Confiscation, Blames Donald Trump ‘White Supremacist’ for Mass Shootings
Barack Obama responded on Twitter to the dual mass shootings that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, blaming guns, white supremacist websites, and President Donald Trump for the ongoing violence in the United States.
Most notably, the former President endorsed gun confiscation for even legal gun owners. Donald Trump gave a statement condemning white supremacy and all forms of hate and vowing to take measures to prevent future massacres. Following Trump’s remarks, Barack Obama then issued his own statement:
“The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” Trump tweeted. “News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!”
Trump gave a televised statement from the White House calling on the country to denounce white supremacy and other forms of racial hate. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” he said. “Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”
Soon after Trump’s televised statement, Obama issued a “rare public rebuke” of Trump, as The Daily Mail describes it. In the statement, which he posted on social media, Obama suggestively denounced “any of our leaders” who “demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life.”
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 5, 2019
“We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people,” he said.
Obama urged law enforcement and internet platforms to limit the influence of hate groups, observing that the El Paso gunman followed a similar pattern to other mass shooters in that he “embraced racist ideologies” and may have been radicalized “by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet.”
The former president also addressed the sense of apathy toward enacting stricter gun laws, arguing that the U.S. deals with more mass shootings than other developed nations and that some restrictions will at least limit the frequency of the massacres.
“We are not helpless here,” Obama said. “And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.”
Obama weighed in as the death toll continued to rise in the El Paso shooting, in which a gunman opened fire Saturday afternoon at a Walmart. The suspected shooter allegedly wrote a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that was published just before the attack that warned of a Latino “invasion.” Federal authorities are considering charging him with hate crimes.
He compared the radicalization of white nationalists to that of followers of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
“That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups,” he wrote.