FALLOUT CONTINUES: Ohio gun reform urged; calls in Texas for Trump to stay away

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican governor bucked his party to call for expanded gun laws Tuesday and some Democrats in Texas told President Donald Trump to stay away as both states reeled from a pair of shootings that killed 31 .

A racist screed remained the focus of police investigating the massacre at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, as further details trickled out on the shooter at a popular nightlife strip in Dayton, Ohio, who was described as fascinated with mass murder.

PUSH FOR LEGISLATION IN OHIO

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged the GOP-led state Legislature to pass laws requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales and allowing courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats.

Persuading the Legislature to pass such proposals could be an uphill battle. It has given little consideration this session to those and other gun-safety measures already introduced by Democrats and DeWine’s Republican predecessor, John Kasich, also unsuccessfully pushed for a so-called red flag law on restricting firearms for people considered threats.

“We can come together to do these things to save lives,” DeWine said.

EX: OHIO SHOOTER SHARED DARK THOUGHTS

An ex-girlfriend of the Ohio gunman, 24-year-old Connor Betts, said he suffered from bipolar disorder, joked about his dark thoughts and exhibited a fascination with mass shootings.

The woman, Adelia Johnson, said in an online essay that Betts showed her a video of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on their first date.

She said Betts expressed “uncontrollable urges” that she called “red flags,” which eventually led her to call things off in May.

EL PASO DEMOCRATS SHUN TRUMP VISIT

President Donald Trump was planning visits to both cities Wednesday, an announcement that stirred some resistance in El Paso.

Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso made clear that the president was not welcome in her hometown as it mourned. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who was an El Paso congressman for six years, also said Trump should stay away.

Escobar said Tuesday that victims’ families were already using the city’s newly opened resource center where various government and mental health services have set up booths.

“We’ve got to make sure that folks have access to mental health care. There’s going to be a lot of trauma in our community, a lot of children saw things that no human being should see,” Escobar said.

GUN CONTROL AND IMMIGRATION

On Monday, Trump made a vague expression of openness to new gun laws , suggesting a bill to expand gun background checks could be combined with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system but gave no rationale for the pairing.

Studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants have a lower level of criminality than those born in the U.S., both shooting suspects were citizens, and federal officials are investigating anti-immigrant bias as a potential motive in the Texas massacre.

In both El Paso and Dayton, a young white male was identified as the lone suspect. The suspect in the Texas shooting, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, was booked on murder charges. Betts was killed as police quickly swooped in to end his ambush.

 


Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth, Kantele Franko, Cedar Attanasio, Astrid Galvan, Morgan Lee, Paul J. Weber, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to the contents of this report.

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TRUMP TO OBAMA: ‘I’m no racist’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday swung back at former president Barack Obama who in a statement suggested Trump’s rhetoric was to blame for last weekend’s mass shootings.

The president took to Twitter to respond to Obama’s statement in which he slammed “leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people.”

Further, Obama Obama called for Americans to reject the words “coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders” that feeds “fear and hatred and normalizes racist sentiments.”

Echoing “Fox & Friend’s” host Brian Kilmeade, Trump first chastised Obama’s criticism by pointing out that Obama’s White House predecessor, George Bush, declined to criticize Obama after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

‘Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook,'” Trump wrote, quoting Kilmeade. “President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control. Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running.”

“‘It’s political season and the election is around the corner,'” Trump wrote, quoting Kilmeade’s co-host Ainsley Earhardt.

“And I am the least racist person, ” Trump added. “Black, Hispanic and Asian Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!”

Calls for statement from Barack Obama’s spokesperson in regards to the president’s tweets were met with “no comment.”

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ATTACK ON THE SECOND: Firearm stocks spike in wake of Dems call for stricter gun control

WASHINGTON — Stock shares of U.S. gunmakers rose Monday amid renewed calls for gun control measures following last weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

According to a report published by Newsmax, American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC), which makes Smith & Wesson firearms, rose as much as 7.5%, while Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. (RGR) rose 3.8%. Ammunition maker Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO) gained as much as 2% while the S&P 500 Index fell 2.3% on rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The jump follows two separate mass shootings that occurred over the weekend, which were followed by immediate calls from Democrats to enact stricter gun laws and tougher background checks.

Authorities say a gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas Wal-mart Saturday, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more. Less than 24 hours later, a man in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and wounded several others.

Gun stocks typically rise after mass shootings as renewed calls for tougher firearms laws increase speculation that Americans will want to purchase more weapons before new regulations take effect.

President Trump on Monday commented on the weekend tragedies, calling for “bipartisan solutions” to combat gun violence. The president blamed video games, mental illness, and racism for the shootings, but stopped short of calling for federal universal background checks, a gun-control measure popular with Democrats.

He instead called for a collaboration between state and federal agencies to “develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.”

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‘BARBARIC’: Trump calls for stricter gun laws in wake of recent mass shootings

WASHINGTON — Calling the deadly weekend shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas “barbaric,” President Donald Trump on Monday called for a bipartisan effort to pass stricter gun laws.

“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” Trump said.

Referring to the deadly mass shootings as “crimes against humanity,” the president also condemned “white supremacy” and called for stricter background checks when purchasing handguns.

“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online, consumed by racist hate,” said the president. “Mental illness and hate pull the trigger, not the gun.”

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump continued. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
The president targeted violent video games and social media for helping to fan the flames of hatred and said more must be done to recognize those with “mental and emotional issues.”

“We must recognize the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed mind

The president’s call to action comes in response to criticism from the left that his administration has not done enough to stop gun violence.

“We have done much more than most administrations,” he said Monday. “We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done.”
s and perform demented acts,” he said.

Police say a gunman on Saturday walked into a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, near the Mexican border and opened fire. Two more victims of the attack died in hospital on Monday.

A total of eight Mexican citizens were killed in the shooting.

Just hours later, authorities say a gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio. Nine victims were reportedly killed in that attack.trumpcondemns