On Saturday morning, a wicked person opened fire on innocent families shopping at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Precious children were among the victims. The following day, another act of evil took place on a crowded street in Dayton, Ohio. These two horrible incidents left more than 80 people killed or wounded.
Earlier today,President Donald J. Trump addressed the nation from the White House:
The First Lady and I join all Americans in praying and grieving for the victims, their families, and the survivors. We will stand by their side forever. We will never forget. These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation, and a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands, and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fallen. We are a loving nation, and our children are entitled to grow up in a just, peaceful and loving society. Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief. We ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer. And we vow to act with urgent resolve.
Hate,in any of its forms, has no place in the United States of America. In the two decades since Columbine, our nation has witnessed one mass shooting after another. It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of such violence. America can and will rise to the challenge.
By taking action, “we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain,” President Trump said. He laid out those steps today:
First, Americans must come together in condemning racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” the President said.
Second, law enforcement must have all the tools it needs to investigate and disrupt any hate crimes or acts of domestic terrorism. President Trump has asked the FBI to identify any additional resources needed to confront these threats. Part of that effort includes fighting radicalization online.
Third, America must do a better job of identifying—and acting upon—early warning signs of violence. Today, President Trump directed the Department of Justice to partner with government agencies and the private sector, including social media companies, to develop tools to detect mass shooters before they act.
Fourth, we must stop the glorification of violence across society. It’s far too easy for troubled individuals to surround themselves with gruesome, grisly images on a daily basis. “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,” the President said.
Fifth, our country must reform its mental health laws to better identify, treat, and—if necessary—confine individuals who may commit acts of violence.
Last but not least, we must ensure that those posing a great risk to public safety do not have access to firearms—and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken away through rapid due process. The President has called for “red flag laws,” also known as extreme risk protection orders, to keep weapons away from dangerous people.
These stepsbuild upon important work that President Trump has already done to address the scourge of mass violence in America. Last year, Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass the STOP School Violence and Fix NICS Acts, providing grants to improve school safety and strengthening critical background checks for firearms. On the President’s orders, the Department of Justice also banned the sale of bump stocks.
Today, President Trump also called upon DOJ to propose legislation that ensures anyone who commits hate crimes and mass murder will face the death penalty.
“Now is the timeto set destructive partisanship aside . . . and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love,” the President said. “Our future is in our control.”
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP ON THE MASS SHOOTINGS IN TEXAS AND OHIO
Diplomatic Reception Room
10:08 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. My fellow Americans, this morning, our nation is overcome with shock, horror, and sorrow. This weekend, more than 80 people were killed or wounded in two evil attacks.
On Saturday morning, in El Paso, Texas, a wicked man went to a Walmart store, where families were shopping with their loved ones. He shot and murdered 20 people, and injured 26 others, including precious little children.
Then, in the early hours of Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio, another twisted monster opened fire on a crowded downtown street. He murdered 9 people, including his own sister, and injured 27 others.
The First Lady and I join all Americans in praying and grieving for the victims, their families, and the survivors. We will stand by their side forever. We will never forget.
These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation, and a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands, and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fallen.
We are a loving nation, and our children are entitled to grow up in a just, peaceful, and loving society. Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief, we ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer, and we vow to act with urgent resolve.
I want to thank the many law enforcement personnel who responded to these atrocities with the extraordinary grace and courage of American heroes.
I have spoken with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, as well as Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas, and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio, to express our profound sadness and unfailing support.
Today, we also send the condolences of our nation to President Obrador of Mexico, and all the people of Mexico, for the loss of their citizens in the El Paso shooting. Terrible, terrible thing.
I have also been in close contact with Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray. Federal authorities are on the ground, and I have directed them to provide any and all assistance required -- whatever is needed.
The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism -- whatever they need.
We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet, and stop mass murders before they start. The Internet, likewise, is used for human trafficking, illegal drug distribution, and so many other heinous crimes. The perils of the Internet and social media cannot be ignored, and they will not be ignored.
In the two decades since Columbine, our nation has watched with rising horror and dread as one mass shooting has followed another -- over and over again, decade after decade.
We cannot allow ourselves to feel powerless. We can and will stop this evil contagion. In that task, we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real, bipartisan solutions. We have to do that in a bipartisan manner. That will truly make America safer and better for all.
First, we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs. I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partisan -- partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.
As an example, the monster in the Parkland high school in Florida had many red flags against him, and yet nobody took decisive action. Nobody did anything. Why not?
Second, we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately. 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. That’s what we have to do.
Third, 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. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.
Fourth, we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.
Today, I am also 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.
These are just a few of the areas of cooperation that we can pursue. I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference.
Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague. Last year, we enacted the STOP School Violence and Fix NICS Acts into law, providing grants to improve school safety and strengthening critical background checks for firearm purchases. At my direction, the Department of Justice banned bump stocks. Last year, we prosecuted a record number of firearms offenses. But there is so much more that we have to do.
Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside -- so destructive -- and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We will always have and we always will win. The choice is ours and ours alone. It is not up to mentally ill monsters; it is up to us.
If we are able to pass great legislation after all of these years, we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain.
May God bless the memory of those who perishedin Toledo. May God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio. May God bless the victims and their families. May God bless America.
Presidential Message on the 229th Birthday of the United States Coast Guard
As Commander in Chief, I join a grateful Nation in celebrating the 229th birthday of the United States Coast Guard.
In 1790, at the request of Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington established a fleet of small, but swift vessels, “judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports” to serve as “useful sentinels of our laws.” For more than two centuries now, the United States Coast Guard has manned boats, tenders, tugs, cutters, and aircraft, answering the call of duty. Ever vigilant, the guardians of our waters remainSemper Paratus—always ready.
Today, our Nation celebrates the historic legacy of the United States Coast Guard and commends the daily work of our Coast Guardsmen. These brave patriots secure our borders from drug runners and terrorists, defend our country’s interests around the world, rescue our citizens from stormy seas, and ensure the safe and efficient shipment of more than $5.4 trillion of commerce. The world was recently reminded of the daily heroism of the United States Coast Guard by a recent operation off the coast of South America. The crew of United States Coast Guard CutterMunrobravely boarded a drug-smuggling semi-submersible vessel through choppy surf, quickly subdued cartel-backed traffickers, and seized $569 million of illicit drugs. This act of bravery is just one instance of our gallant men and women in uniform putting service over self, and it highlights the everyday courage that makes America’s military the strongest in the world.
Melania joins me in commending the United States Coast Guard on 229 years of steadfast service, and we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice guarding our Nation’s precious liberties and cherished freedoms.
May God watch over all of our men and women in uniform, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDIES IN EL PASO, TEXAS, AND DAYTON, OHIO
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Our Nation mourns with those whose loved ones were murdered in the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and we share in the pain and suffering of all those who were injured in these two senseless attacks. We condemn these hateful and cowardly acts. Through our grief, America stands united with the people of El Paso and Dayton. May God be with the victims of these two horrific crimes and bring aid and comfort to their families and friends. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible acts of violence perpetrated on August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas, and on August 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, August 8, 2019. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-fourth.
President Donald J. Trump Approves West Virginia Disaster Declaration
Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of June 29 to June 30, 2019.
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in the counties of Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph, and Tucker.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Jason Burroughs as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.