WASHINGTON (CN) – In the wake of two shootings that claimed nearly 31 lives in Ohio and Texas this weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted encouragement Monday morning for stricter background checks. He said such a gun-control bill should be tied to a reform of U.S. immigration policies.
“We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain,” Trump tweeted. “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 this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”
Trump expanded on his tweet later this morning in a press conference at the White House but otherwise focused his rhetoric on the scourge of violent video games.
More than 50 people were injured in the unrelated shootings, which spanned a window of less than 24 hours. Federal authorities are handling Saturday’s attack at a busy shopping center in El Paso that killed 22 people as an act of domestic terrorism and are considering hate-crime charges.
Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old suspect, is said to have written a manifesto that described a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Hours after Crusius was taken into custody without incident, Connor Betts, 24, opened fire early Sunday morning in a historic district of Dayton. Wearing body armor and carrying multiple clips of high-capacity magazines, Betts killed nine people, including his sister, before he was slain by police.
On Twitter Sunday, Trump praised the quick response of law enforcement and condemned the shootings as an act of cowardice and hateful acts. “There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people,” Trump wrote.
Trump ordered flags to half-staff at all federal government buildings Sunday in honor of the victims of the shooting. The flags will remain descended until Aug. 8, Trump said.
“Melania and I are praying for all those impacted by this unspeakable act of evil,” Trump tweeted Sunday.