Trump Links Call for Background Checks With Immigration Reform in Wake of Mass Shootings

By Shani Saxon Aug 05, 2019

The nation is still reeling from two mass shootings that took place over the weekend, but that didn’t stop President Donald Trump from responding to the carnage by calling for immigration reform, The New York Times reports. 

A gunman killed nine and injured 27 people in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday (August 4), only 14 hours after a domestic terrorist killed 22 people and wounded dozens in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart.

In response to the tragedies, Trump hopped on Twitter Monday (August 5) morning to inexplicably shift blame for carnage carried out by White, American men to immigrants. As The Times reports, the president called on Congress to work across the aisle to fight for “strong background checks” and possibly “marrying” new gun legislation with “desperately needed immigration reform.”




The El Paso shooter had a manifesto that, according to Vox, was motivated by the “invasion” of immigrants in Texas, as well as other troubling theories about immigrants that have been perpetuated by Trump. Vox writes that the president is “giving credence to the shooter’s cause” by attempting to promote immigration legislation in the wake of a mass shooting that targeted immigrants. 

Later in the day on Monday, Trump gave a brief speech from the White House about the shootings. But rather than focusing on gun restrictions and background checks, he instead targeted mental health and violent video games in a move that seems to have come straight from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) playbook. 

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger—not the gun,” Trump said. As The Washington Post points out, this type of language echoes the NRA’s frequent talking point that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”