By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) President Donald Trump on Monday outlined a series of proposals designed to combat a growing rash of mass shootings, taking aim at everything from mental health to a lack of bipartisanship in Congress to fake news.
In an address to the country from the Diplomatic Reception Room, the president also called for the nation to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” adding these “sinister ideologies” must be defeated.
Specifically, Trump proposed tools that would give law enforcement the opportunity to spot early warning signs of mass shootings; reducing glorifying violence in video games and pop culture; reforms to mental health laws; the enactment of “red flag” laws that empower courts to allow police to confiscate firearms and/or block individuals’ access to guns if they demonstrate violent tendencies; and enacting the death penalty for mass killers.
The president brought up the Parkland, Fla., shootings as an example of a system that failed to spot several warning signs by Nikolas Cruz, who killed more than a dozen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.
“I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local state and federal agencies as well as social media companies to develop tools to detect mass shooters before they strike,” said the president.
He also pointed to the “glorification of violence in our society” and specifically pointed to video games,” but acknowledged that changing the culture will be difficult.
“This includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace,” he said. “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.”
POTUS also warned about how the Internet is used as a “dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds.”
The president also asked for reforms to mental health laws, noting that they should be designed to “better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence. He said identified persons needing help should get treatment, for certain, but also, “when necessary, involuntary confinement.”
“Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun,” he added in reference to a pair of shootings over the weekend, one in El Paso, Texas, and another in Dayton, Ohio.
Proposing “red flag” laws, which are also known as “extreme risk protection orders,” is liable to be the most controversial of all. As we noted:
The new red flag law proposals now being enacted by several states, and aided by proposals being pushed in the Congress by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others, take the concept of a judicial restraining order to a new, and problematic level.
These proposals create a new category of restraining orders applicable to owners of firearms, and would permit virtually anyone at any time to enlist local law enforcement and a judge to issue ex parte orders (sometimes by phone) directing law enforcement to seize a person’s firearms based on fear that they might in the future commit a bad act with a gun.
Opponents of red flag laws say they are injurious to due process, as defined by the Constitution.
Finally, the president said he would be directing the Justice Department to propose new legislation that would ensure “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.”
POTUS said he was “open and ready to listen” to discuss bipartisan ideas “that will actually work and make a very big difference.”
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