In the Texas border city of El Paso, a gunman opened fire Saturday morning in a shopping area packed with thousands of people during the busy back-to-school season. The attack killed 22 and wounded more than two dozen, many of them critically.
Hours later in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman wearing body armor and carrying extra magazines opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine and injuring at least 26 people. The attacks came less than a week after a 19-year-old gunman killed three people and injured 13 others at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival in California before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The El Paso shooting was being investigated as a possible hate crime as authorities worked to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted on 8chan, an imageboard website composed of user-created boards, shortly beforehand was written by the man arrested.
Earlier this morning, President Trump spoke from the White House about the shootings and suggested earlier on Twitter that a background check bill could be paired with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said, adding that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.
Including the two latest attacks, 127 people had been killed in the 2019 shootings.
SHOULD PRESIDENT TRUMP’S RHETORIC BE BLAMED?
Nicole Boucher, vice president of Way to Win, a national donor and organizer network that works for progressive causes
Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush