Viewpoints: Don’t Blame The Mentally Ill For Mass Shootings; Stop Spewing Hate From The Bully Pulpit; Get Behind Trump’s Proposals To Stem Gun Violence
Editorial pages focus on proposals to stop mass shootings.
Psychological Association Warns Against 'Blaming Mass Shootings On Mental Illness'
The country’s largest organization of psychiatrists on Monday pushed back against comments from politicians linking the most recent spate of mass shootings to mental illness. In a statement, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) said gun violence is a public health crisis, and noted that “the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent and far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators of violence.” The APA said that people with mental illness are being stigmatized. (Nathaniel Weixel, 8/5)
The Washington Post:
To Honor Dayton And El Paso Victims, Trump Should Vow To Stop Using Racist, Hateful Speech
President Trump controls the greatest loudspeaker in the world. On Monday, he said from the White House that “our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.” He added, “Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.” Well put. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump has recklessly used racism, bigotry and hatred for many years, in coded formulas and direct speech. To truly honor the victims of El Paso and Dayton, Mr. Trump should vow never again to spew his loathing from the bully pulpit. (8/5)
After El Paso, Dayton Tragedies Trump Offers Real Reform That Deserves Bipartisan Support
While left-wing partisans scramble to politicize the tragic mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that took 31 lives, President Trump proposed commonsense, bipartisan solutions that should be taken seriously. On Monday, President Trump categorically condemned “racism, bigotry and white supremacy” and stated in no uncertain terms that “hate has no place in America.” Additionally, the president laid out a number of concrete proposals to address mass shootings. The proposals ranged from instructing the Department of Justice to work with social media companies to “develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike” to pursuing the death penalty for these perpetrators. (Kayleigh McEnany, 8/5)
The Wall Street Journal:
Politics And The Shooters
Police in Dayton say they’re still seeking a motive for Connor Betts’ shooting spree that killed nine people, including his sister. But whatever turns up, we hope no one blames Elizabeth Warren. We say that because the news site Heavy.com, which gained access to Betts’ Twitter account before it was taken down, reports that his politics appear to have been left of center. The shooter recently tweeted that he would “happily” vote for Senator Warren. His Twitter profile also read: “he/him/anime fan/metalhead/leftist/i’m going to hell and i’m not coming back.” In December last he wrote: “This is America: Guns on every corner, guns in every house, no freedom but to kill.” A month before that, he wrote: “Vote blue for gods sake.” (8/5)
The Washington Post:
No, Mr. Trump. Guns Are The Reason For Mass Shootings.
For a moment on Monday, President Trump offered a teasing hope that he would jolt the Republican Party into easing its roadblock on even the most obvious and popular gun-control measures. Following a grisly weekend of mass shootings, Mr. Trump tweeted in favor of “strong background checks” so that “something good, if not GREAT, [comes] out of these two tragic events!” Soon enough, the president subsided to form. He read a speech that focused on mental health issues, violent video games and the Internet as major factors in the nation’s increasingly bloody culture of gun violence. “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger. Not the gun,” he said. (8/5)
The New York Times:
The Nihilist In Chief
But the connection between the president and the young men with guns extends beyond Trump’s race-baiting to encompass a more essential feature of his public self — which is not the rhetoric or ideology that he deploys, but the obvious moral vacuum, the profound spiritual black hole, that lies beneath his persona and career. (Ross Douthat, 8/6)
The Washington Post:
What Are Republicans Afraid Of?
It’s almost funny, in a twisted sort of way. Election after election, Republicans have based their core political appeal on fear. And yet — as dual gun massacres this weekend starkly illustrate — they refuse to offer solutions to any of the mortal threats Americans actually face. President Trump’s closing (losing) message in the midterms was “Be afraid, be very afraid”; he and his co-partisans have lately doubled down on it for 2020. Of course, the perils that Republicans promise to rescue us from are often fictional, or of their own making. (Catherine Rampell, 8/5)
The Washington Post:
Republicans’ Thoughts And Prayers Have Become A Cruel Joke
Back-to-back massacres in El Paso and Dayton kill 31. Cue the thoughts and prayers! “Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers,” tweeted President Trump, who vows to veto gun control. “Elaine’s and my prayers go out to the victims,” tweeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blocks votes on gun control. (Dana Milbank, 8/5)
Mitch McConnell Should Move Gun Bills. But He Probably Won’t.
They gathered in Washington, D.C. this past weekend,some 2,000 moms and activists who are determined to end the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. The annual Moms Demand Action conference got started Saturday by honoring victims when news of the El Paso shooting trickled across TV screens and phones. Twenty-two more people dead at the hands of another young white man with an assault weapon. “It was a devastating feeling,” said Lynsey Sugarman, who heads the Lexington chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We ended up putting on our red shirts and over 1,000 of us marched through the streets of Washington. By Sunday, they’d heard about Dayton, and by Monday, Sugarman and others were back in Lexington, organizing a rally to be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Lexington’s courthouse plaza. There’s elections coming, after all, and people can start showing exactly how they feel about constant and senseless death. (Linda Blackford, 8/5)
Mass Shootings Happen Because McConnell Won't Ban Automatic Weapons
PADUCAH, Ky. — I woke up in a hotel room in Paducah on Sunday morning to learn that there had been yet another mass shooting in America. This one, in Dayton, Ohio, left 9 victims dead and 27 injured.Paducah was the same city in which I awoke in hotel rooms for nearly a week in 1997 after Michael Carneal walked into Heath High School and killed three of his fellow students and wounded five others. Why, after all these years, after all these shootings, after all these deaths, do we allow these senseless mass killings to continue? (Joseph Gerth, 8/5)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Trump's Response Proves Only A Leadership Change Will Stop This Gun Carnage
In President Donald Trump’s message to the nation Monday, after horrific mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, he blamed mental illness, the internet, video games and just about everything except the guns. After initial comments hinting he might finally push back against the Republican Party’s intractable attitude that the saturation of firearms in America is an act of providence about which nothing can be done, all he did was reinforce it. Let this stand as the loudest warning yet that, as long as the GOP holds power over the national policy (or lack thereof) on guns, many more will die. (8/5)
The Washington Post:
We Need To Talk About Why Mass Shooters Are Almost Always Men
It will sound either morbid or histrionic, but the students in the safe Midwestern town where I grew up spent a lot of high school talking about which of our fellow classmates were likely to one day kill us all. Or maybe they’d kill people outside of school — we allowed for that possibility, too — but whatever happened would involve someone bursting through a door with a gun. This was the era of Columbine, and that incident, 800 miles away but all over the news, had provided us a way to verbalize the erratic scariness that some young men emitted: the sense they might turn their resentment into horror. (Monica Hesse, 8/5)