Political leaders, including Arkansas legislators are responding to two mass shootings that occurred in Texas and Ohio over the weekend. From Congressmen to President Trump, these legislators have issued statements condemning the shootings and offering thoughts on the incidents.
Over the weekend, two mass shootings occurred within 24 hours of each other. In El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, two men left more than 25 people dead and 50 injured in attacks on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Twenty people were killed in the El Paso shooting, which occurred in a Walmart store and its parking lot around 10:30 a.m. (MDT). In addition, approximately 26 individuals were injured in the attack.
The El Paso suspect has been identified as Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old from Allen, Texas. He was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with capital murder.
In Dayton, nine people were killed and 27 injured when a gunman opened fire in the city’s downtown. According to reporters, the shooter used a .223-caliber rifle with 100-round drum magazines.
Media outlets have identified Connor Betts as the Dayton suspect. Betts’ sister, Megan Betts, is one of the shooting victims, along with an unidentified individual who rode with both Connor and Megan earlier in the evening.
The Dayton shooter, who was reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest, hearing protection, a mask and carrying a shotgun in addition to the rifle, was shot dead by police officers.
In the wake of the El Paso shooting, President Donald Trump tweeted that the incident was “not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice” and that there are “no reasons or execuses that will ever justify killing innocent people…”\
Trump tweeted on August 4 about the Dayton shooting, saying that law enforcement was working in both Dayton and El Paso to gain information about the shootings.
Today (Monday, Aug. 5) at 5:54 a.m., Trump called for Republican and Democratic lawmakers to pursue legislation for “strong background checks, perhaps marrying…this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.”
We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
“We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!,” Trump tweeted.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson denounced the El Paso shooting, calling it an instance of white supremacy. The shooting suspect allegedly posted a manifesto that directs racist language towards immigrants, and the choice of the Walmart near the U.S./Mexican border has been theorized to be part of the shooter’s plan to target Latino immigrants.
As a federal prosecutor I saw the evil of white supremacy. Its influence diminished but now we see a resurgence. In El Paso, there are two stories: the evil of the shooter & the love & help of the city. America must embrace El Paso’s compassion & collectively rebuke this evil.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) August 4, 2019
Two Arkansas Congressmen, Rep. Rick Crawford and Rep. Steve Womack, discussed the shootings online. Crawford tweeted that “destructive beliefs…have no place in our country.” He tweeted that he will be considering “several areas of reforms and changes” that Trump will be proposing. Meanwhile, Womack echoed Trump’s tweet, saying that there is “no justification for senseless & hate-filled acts of violence.”
I join the President and countless others across our country in condemnation of the hate that has infected so many in the form of White Nationalism and other, destructive beliefs that have no place in our country. The President has enumerated…
— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) August 5, 2019
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons