UPDATED 6:56 AM PT — Thursday, August 8, 2019
President Trump made a visit to Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas Wednesday to thank local first responders as well as mourn with victims and their families after the two cities suffered mass shootings over the weekend.
Just before his departure, the president told the press a major part of the visits are to talk about unity and preventing further and future violence. This is a message many residents of El Paso and Dayton were eager to hear.
“I think it’s really nice that he’s taking his day to come see and the grieving families of this area, and breathe some life into the people that lost a family member and friends.”
— William McNamara, Ohio resident
The president said he strongly supports background checks for those purchasing a gun, and cited large bipartisan support for the checks.
“I’ll bring that up as one of the point — there’s a great appetite and I mean a very strong appetite for background checks,” he stated.
President Trump’s comments come as ‘red flag’ laws, which aim to take guns away from those deemed as a potential threat to themselves and others, gain bipartisan support.
During the visit, the president did not shy away from criticizing the media and politicians for using divisive language. He claimed many candidates and lawmakers are using these shootings for political gain.
Upon returning to Washington, President Trump thanked doctors and first responders in a tweet:
My time spent in Dayton and El Paso with some of the greatest people on earth. Thank you for a job well done! pic.twitter.com/TNVDGhxOpo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019