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Donald Trump delivered a teleprompter address on this weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, mostly sticking to the script, which duly included a condemnation of racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. That probably will hold up for a couple hours at least. As far as actual policy to address all the gun violence, Trump supported one good idea -- which he'll now take credit for inventing although it's been around for a few years -- and otherwise proposed nothing. But he's for sure going to do something about those deadly video games.


Here's video from C-SPAN; you may need to turn it up a tad to hear it. Remember to turn it down lest you frighten the cat when you watch the trailer for Fast & Furious & Calvin & Hobbes & Shaw & Wilde.

President Trump complete remarks on Mass Shootings (C-SPAN) youtu.be

It had all the Trumpian adjectives: a "wicked" man in El Paso who killed "precious" little children, a "twisted monster" in Dayton, and "barbaric" slaughter. Lots of very bad things were done to very good people! If you were expecting an Obamaesque comforter in chief, forget it -- but really, wouldn't Trump pretending to feel something be even worse? Just thank distant Crom in his brooding mountain fastness Trump didn't try to sing "Amazing Grace."

Trump read these words about the massacres, and about the Texas shooter's online screed targeting immigrants:

In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.

For instance, you could look at the people who attend Trump rallies and look forward to deporting all the illegal invaders, or chant funny jokes about shooting people at the border. Just please don't look at the similarities between the shooter's "manifesto" and the rhetoric of "invasion" and "replacement" you'll find in Donald Trump tweets or on the Tucker Carlson program.

Trump also promised -- for the moment -- to support the FBI in fighting "hate crimes and domestic terrorism," although we suspect he'd like to add the real terrorists are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who personally did wire tapps to him.

Getting on more familiar culture war ground, Trump condemned the internet and social media as breeding grounds for hatred and fanaticism, just weeks after he hosted a bunch of internet conspiracy loons and fake newsers at the White House so he could whine about how badly he's been oppressed by Twitter. He vaguely called for new online tools to identify possible mass shooters (as long as they don't accidentally ensnare Republicans).

Also, the man who insisted he'd like to punch protesters in the face and see them taken out on a stretcher said we need to "stop the glorification of violence in our society," because isn't all that violence worrisome?

This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.

That should get lots of play, and be every bit as effective in curbing real violence as banning horror comics in the 1950s was. Although at least we got MAD magazine out of that.

The one concrete policy Trump's speech included was an endorsement of "red flag" laws that would allow a judge to temporarily take guns away from someone threatening violence to themselves or others. "Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger. Not the gun." Once we eliminate mental illness and hatred, like other countries have, we will surely have the same low gun violence rates they do.

Oh, yes, and Trump also wants to kill people to teach that killing is bad:

Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the DEATH PENALTY - and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.

He was so proud of that one that he put it on Twitter, with DEATH PENALTY in all caps so you know he means business. Wonder if that includes people who inspire hate crimes? After all, there's at least a statistical correlation between Trump rallies and local increases in hate crimes, so ... nah, we are joking, it is only the hate crimers themselves who are responsible for their actions. Them and the video games.

As for any talk of the hatred of immigrants that was central to the El Paso shooter's crime, Trump didn't mention immigrants once. Nor did he mention one idea he tweeted earlier this morning, universal background checks for gun purchases, possibly in tandem with immigration reform -- because why not try TWO ideas Republicans are terrible on at once. He'd suggest he was taking background checks hostage, but don't be fooled -- he just keeps forgetting that the NRA told him he hates those.

While Trump had clearly been coached to stick to the teleprompter, he did slip just once. In perfect Trump fashion, it involved not knowing how to read. He saw a line about "Texas and Ohio" and shared his sympathies for "those who perished in Toledo, Ohio," which is practically the same thing.

It could have been worse. He could have flubbed a line about someone who was "fatally struck."

On Twitter, Cory Booker's campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, shared Booker's reaction to the speech, sent as a text to Demmissie.

Listening to the president. Such a a bullshit soup of ineffective words. This is so weak. We should quickly condemn his lack of a real plan.

This is where we say we endorse Booker's sentiments in full, and for that matter, we also like Booker's very real plan for dealing with guns, which would require among other things national registration of guns and licensing of all gun owners.

Now we just need to see how long it takes before Trump says, yet again, that white nationalism is no big deal. And remember to turn your computer's volume back down. For the cat's sake.

[NBC News / NYT / Daily Beast]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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