President Trump is backing away from supporting new gun control measures. After the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, earlier this month, Trump called for lawmakers to unite and pass new background check laws, but in a call with NRA head Wayne LaPierre Tuesday, he reportedly assured him that universal background checks were “off the table.” Trump instead is heavily shifting the focus to mental illness as the main cause of gun violence, despite data demonstrating people with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of gun violence than perpetrators. Democrats are increasingly calling for a ban on assault weapons as part of comprehensive gun reform.
In related news, the El Paso mass shooter who killed 22 people has been placed on suicide watch. He told authorities he was “targeting Mexicans” when he attacked shoppers at a Walmart near the Mexican border. At least 26 people have been arrested after threatening to commit mass attacks since the El Paso and Dayton shootings at the start of the month that killed 32 people, including the Dayton gunman.