A USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll taken on Aug. 5 and 6, in the wake of deadly violence in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, shows that Americans overwhelmingly blame the mental health system, racism and white nationalism, and loose gun laws for the series of mass shootings.
Nearly three of four Democrats polled, 74 percent, say some of the responsibility is on President Trump, who has been criticized for tweets condemned as racist and provocative rhetoric aimed at Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks, and others. That compares with 23 percent of Republicans—although the fact that nearly one in four of his fellow Republicans place some blame on Trump is notable.
More than two-thirds of Americans, 69 percent, say racism and white nationalism hold some responsibility for the mass shootings. That includes 84 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed blame the mental health system, the factor that tops the list.
In a televised address to the nation on Aug. 5, Trump condemned “racism, bigotry, and white supremacy” after a devastating and bloody weekend left at least 30 people dead in two mass shootings in less than 24 hours.
Perhaps Trump should address his own rhetoric.
This is the person who began his run for the White House by calling Mexicans drug dealers and “rapists.” It’s no secret that white nationalists have been emboldened under Trump. We keep seeing the consequences of bigotry coming from the White House, as Trump supporters act out their hatred.
The suspect in El Paso, Patrick Crusius, is believed to be the author of a document posted before the shooting, which said the attack was “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
In just the past year, Trump has used the word “invasion” or “invade” in tweets 10 times to refer to immigrants.
In 2019 alone, the United States has recorded 248 mass shooting incidents, generally seen as four or more people being shot in a single incident at a single location. The death toll stands at 248, with nearly another 1,000 wounded.
These mass killings are usually not indicative of a mental illness, but they are a sign of hate, a mindset in which “others” are regarded as inferior and the killer is correcting what he perceives as a wrong.
We need to stop the hate.