President Trump, during his address in response to this past weekend’s mass shooting tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, condemned a culture that glorifies violence.
He also said that he is asking the Department of Justice “to work with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.”
The president suggested that the Internet has played a role in giving both notoriety and encouragement to radicalized violence, stating, “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts.”
Just 20 minutes before the El Paso shooter opened fire in a crowded Walmart, on Saturday, he allegedly posted a written manifesto on a fringe web site, called 8chan. The site, which hosts message boards, is known to host message threads that harbor extremist discussions and violent topics.
“We must shine light on the dark recesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start,” Trump said. “The perils of the internet and social media cannot be ignored and they will not be ignored.”
The president, in Monday’s address, also made reference to video games, which he characterized as “gruesome and grisly,” enabling “troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.”
This is not the first time that President Trump has criticized video games for indulging in violent fantasies and possibly influencing real-world violence. He also did so in February 2018, after a 19 year-old gunman with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire on high school classmates in Parkland, Florida, killing 17.