Trump Response to Mass Shootings

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Alex Wong/Getty Images


We ran the numbers: There are 12498 news articles covering this topic. 16% (1973) are left leaning, 47% (5891) center, 37% (4634) right leaning.

Last weekend, two mass shootings that took place only hours apart in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, claimed the lives of 31 individuals. Democrats and Republicans have been equally determined to identify the cause of these all-too-familiar incidences. Within the past seven months of 2019, hundreds of lives have been lost to gun violence in the US–the highest rate of any country in the world. The left and the right have clashed over the causes of the alarming rate of gun violence, with the left blaming a lack of stricter gun control laws, while the right blames violent media and mental health. 

A left leaning New York Times article conveys increasing frustration and criticism among democrats towards President Trump, accusing him of fostering a “racist and divisive culture” through his aggressive immigrations policies and controversial comments towards colleagues on Capitol Hill. Democrats argue that this attitude, paired with lax gun control laws, are the main contributor to the exorbitant number of mass shootings. The collective frustration has unified Democrats under one message, “hold Mr. Trump accountable for his past remarks on white supremacy and attacks on people of color.” The accusation stems from the connection between Trump’s rhetoric and the El Paso shooter’s manifesto in which he described the attack as a, “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”. In opposition with a common argument from right-leaning articles, leftist politicians have noted that mental health issues exist throughout the world and doesn’t explain the US’ greatest rate of casualties from gun violence. Many people, not only democrats, have showed strong support for stricter gun laws since the incidents. 

A right leaning article from Breitbart focuses on President Trump’s message to condemn white supremacy and unite individuals to identify and prevent domestic terrorism. President Trump also addressed other possible contributors to these tragedies, citing the internet, social media, violent video games, and mental health as key contributors. This dangerous combination of factors, he argues, can impact at risk individuals in ways that can lead to violence issues in the future, “It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” By reducing these factors, President Trump believes that individuals “capable of mass shootings” can be more easily identified and receive the help they need. 

An article from the center by NPR, takes a different approach by analyzing President Trump’s response from the point of view of three guests: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, political correspondent Scott Detrow, and senior editor Ron Elving over the issues. The open conversation leaves room for criticism towards both the left and the right while also addressing larger issues of white supremacy, immigration, and mental health.