- President Donald Trump spoke at a press conference Monday about implementing “red-flag laws” to help with confiscating guns when threats are detected.
- Media outlets published misleading headlines indicating Trump had not mentioned gun reform laws.
- Trump also tweeted Monday morning about improving background checks following two mass shootings over the weekend.
Media outlets published misleading headlines stating President Donald Trump did not mention any gun laws during a press conference Monday addressing the weekend shootings, despite Trump mentioning “red-flag laws.”
Trump held a press conference Monday addressing two weekend shootings that killed a total of 31 people and injured over four dozen. A shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart resulted in 22 deaths Saturday, and a shooting in downtown Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning killed nine people.
The President spoke Monday about implementing “red-flag laws,” which would facilitate gun confiscation when threats are detected. These laws are aimed at allowing authorities to confiscate firearms for a period of time if an individual appears to pose a threat. He also condemned white supremacy during the speech.
“That is why I have called for red-flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders,” Trump announced Monday. “Today I’m 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. These are just a few of the areas of cooperation that we can pursue.”
“I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference. Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague.
Despite talking about implementing red-flag laws, media outlets such as the New York Times and ABC News ran with headlines about Trump not mentioning any gun control measures.
“Trump Condemns White Supremacy but Doesn’t Propose Gun Laws After Shootings,” the NYT headline read. The article continued with this theme, suggesting that Trump “stopped well short of endorsing” broad gun control, and writing one paragraph about the red-flag laws.
“In his somber remarks, Mr. Trump repeated his past endorsement of so-called ‘red flag’ laws that would allow for the confiscation of firearms from people found to be mentally ill and said mental health laws should be changed to allow for the involuntary confinement of people at risk of committing violence,” the NYT article read.
Similarly, NBC News used a headline that talked about Trump condemning white supremacy, and wrote in the sub-headline that he didn’t call for gun control measures.
“The president did not call for additional gun control measures on Monday, instead blaming violent video games and mental illness, among other factors, for the scourge of mass shootings,” the NBC News sub-headline read. The headline is “Trump condemns ‘racism, bigotry and white supremacy’ after weekend of mass shootings.’”
NBC News dedicated a few sentences to Trump’s red-flag law comments.
“Trump also gave his support in his remarks to so-called red flag laws, which would allow family members to obtain a court order to take away a relative’s firearm if they believe he or she posed a risk. The measure has been backed by Republicans while Democrats have focused on improving background checks,” the paragraph read.
The Wall Street Journal also alleged Trump didn’t offer gun-control proposals. The headline Monday read “Trump Condemns Racism, Bigotry and White Supremacy After Weekend Shootings.”
“President makes strongest comments about white supremacy to date; offers no major gun-control proposals,” the sub-headline read.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Monday that had made a deal with Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal in creating a federal grant program designed to help establish red-flag laws. Graham said that Trump has shown support for the proposal.
Trump also tweeted about another possible measure to curb gun violence. He called for more background checks Monday morning on Twitter before the press conference. He did not mention the background checks during the press conference.
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